Fools Crow

Fools Crow

by

James Welch

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The daughter of Yellow Kidney and Heavy Shield Woman, and the eventual wife of Fools Crow. She is also the sister of One Spot and Good Young Man. Red Paint is young, beautiful, and madly in love with Fools Crow. The two first notice each other when Fools Crow begins hunting for her family after Yellow Kidney’s disappearance during the horse raid against the Crows. After Yellow Kidney’s return, Mik-api negotiates their marriage on Fools Crow’s behalf. Red Paint is quiet and reserved, and she tirelessly serves her husband. She longs for the quiet seclusion of the Backbone, an isolated mountain range where she and Fools Crow can pick chokecherries and fish for “slippery swimmers.” Red Paint is devastated when her father is returned to camp dead after deserting his family, and she is further broken when her brother, Good Young Man, dies during the outbreak of white-scabs disease. Despite this, she is among the procession of Pikunis who leave the Lone Eaters’ camp and head north at the end of the novel, and with their infant son, Sleep-bringer, Red Paint and Fools Crow continue the Pikuni way of life.

Red Paint Quotes in Fools Crow

The Fools Crow quotes below are all either spoken by Red Paint or refer to Red Paint. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of Fools Crow published in 1986.
Chapter 11 Quotes

In six days White Man’s Dog would ride with the war party against the Crows. As she rubbed her neck and looked off to the Sweet Grass Hills, she felt again the dread that came whenever she allowed herself to think. She had tried to stay busy, but even a momentary lapse in concentration allowed that dreaded thought to steal through her whole body. She knew that war parties were part of a man’s life and she knew that she should be proud that White Man’s Dog had been selected to count coup on behalf of her father, Yellow Kidney. But it was because of Yellow Kidney that she felt so fearful.

Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

[Red Paint] sat back on her heels and watched the slippery swimmer that had stationed himself in an eddy behind a yellow rock. […] She had been tempted for three days now to catch him and taste his flesh. Her own people scorned those who ate the underwater swimmers, but she had a cousin who had married into the Fish Eaters band of the Siksikas, and he had become fond of the silver creatures. […] Today she would make a bone hook. She would catch him for Fools Crow. In the solitude of the Backbone they would taste the flesh of this swimmer together.

Page Number: 169-70
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Fools Crow LitChart as a printable PDF.
Fools Crow PDF

Red Paint Character Timeline in Fools Crow

The timeline below shows where the character Red Paint appears in Fools Crow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 5
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...sarvisberries and meat, and sets out five bowls; one for herself, one for her daughter, Red Paint , two for her sons, Good Young Man and One Spot, and one for Yellow... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
...He has begun to bring Heavy Shield Woman and her family blackhorns, and one day, Red Paint catches him dropping off a fresh kill. He speaks to her quickly and awkwardly before... (full context)
War Theme Icon
In the meantime, Red Paint sits outside her mother’s lodge sewing beads onto the moccasins Heavy Shield Woman will wear... (full context)
Chapter 9
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
...at him, he is not interested in her either. As White Man’s Dog thinks about Red Paint , Running Fisher rushes into the lodge and tells them that Fast Horse has banished... (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...Bird Woman, and while she is a fine woman, White Man’s Dog thinks only of Red Paint . That night under the stars, he lifts his hands to the sky and remembers... (full context)
Chapter 10
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
White Man’s Dog sees Heavy Shield Woman and Red Paint in the crowd, and he notices Red Paint watching him. White Man’s Dog says the... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
...afraid because he is a burden on his family, no man will want to marry Red Paint . White Man’s Dog grows excited at the idea of marrying Red Paint and runs... (full context)
War Theme Icon
...is powerful, and it will be a strong match. Plus, if White Man’s Dog marries Red Paint , he must take care of Yellow Kidney as well. Rides-at-the-door gives his son permission... (full context)
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Four days later White Man’s Dog’s family and Red Paint ’s family gather to exchange gifts. Rides-at-the-door presents his son with his many-shots gun. Red... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...a terrible dread. In the distance he can hear a single drum. He looks to Red Paint and is amazed by the love he feels for her. He walks outside and looks... (full context)
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
...robes, a small white stone falls to the ground. He picks it up before joining Red Paint and the rest of his family. (full context)
Chapter 11
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
Shortly after the Sun Dance, Red Paint works fleshing blackhorn hides. In six days, White Man’s Dog will ride with the war... (full context)
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
Heavy Shield Woman approaches, and Red Paint says that her mother looks different since the Sacred Vow. “Someday soon I will appear... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...thought about how it affects others. At least, she says, his hair is growing back. Red Paint suddenly blurts out to her mother that she believes she is pregnant. Heavy Shield Woman... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
White Man’s Dog and Red Paint talk during the celebration. White Man’s Dog admits that he is scared to fight the... (full context)
Chapter 13
War Theme Icon
Back at camp, Red Paint traces the outline of her husband’s wound with her finger—thankfully, his injury is not serious.... (full context)
Chapter 14
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
...Crow shoots a white bighorn, which falls down the side of the mountain. He and Red Paint have gone up the Backbone to get away from the Lone Eaters’ camp for a... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Fools Crow and Red Paint have been on the Backbone for eighteen sleeps. They wouldn’t be able to stay much... (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
The next morning, Red Paint is busy washing pots and bowls in the river. A fish swims by, and she... (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...the trap, fires his rifle, hitting Fools Crow in the shoulder. He shoots again and Red Paint screams. Fools Crow prays to Sun Chief and the wolverine before shooting the Napikwan in... (full context)
Chapter 22
War Theme Icon
Back at the camp of the Lone Eaters, Mik-api watches Red Paint cook. She reminds him of his own wife who died forty years earlier. She was... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Mik-api remarks to Red Paint that she “looks different,” and then he guesses that she is with child. Red Paint... (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...has to do with Yellow Kidney, and Mik-api has a bad feeling. Mik-api doesn’t tell Red Paint about his dreams. Instead, he tries to comfort her. (full context)
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
...killed near camp and, once again, Owl Child and his gang are the suspected culprits. Red Paint begins to feel uneasy—because Owl Child and his crew continue to kill Napikwans, the seizers... (full context)
Chapter 23
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
In the meantime, Fools Crow and Good Young Man return from hunting, and Red Paint runs to tell them about One Spot. She tells Fools Crow about the wolf and... (full context)
Chapter 29
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
The next morning, Red Paint wakes to find Fools Crow has painted his face, but it is not war paint.... (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...country, he prays for safe passage. He rides without stopping and begins to daydream, seeing Red Paint and his people in his mind. After three days, he comes to a blocked entrance... (full context)
Chapter 34
The Individual vs. the Collective Good  Theme Icon
Red Paint returns to her lodge, defeated. She can’t stop thinking about her father. When the men... (full context)
Chapter 36
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
A procession begins with Mik-api at the front. Fools Crow and Red Paint , with a cradleboard on her back, wait to join. The elders join next, including... (full context)