Fools Crow

Fools Crow

by

James Welch

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So-at-sa-ki/Feather Woman Character Analysis

The mortal Pikuni wife of Morning Star, a Pikuni deity, and mother to Star Boy. According to Pikuni legend, Feather Woman is banished back to earth along with her son by Sun Chief after she disobeys Night Red Light and digs up the sacred turnip, creating a hole in the sky. She dies of a broken heart shortly after, and her people do not mourn her. Sun Chief punishes Feather Woman for her transgression by placing her in a magical realm where she is forced to watch Morning Star and Mistake Morning Star, her husband and son’s respective constellations, rise in the sky each day and mourn them for eternity. Fools Crow’s vision quest leads him to So-at-sa-ki, where he sees the end of the Pikuni way of life in a magical yellow hide. So-at-sa-ki reminds Fools Crow of the power of storytelling in the preservation of the Pikuni way of life, and her own story mirrors that of Lone Eaters. Each day they are forced to look to the stars and mourn the loss of their people.

So-at-sa-ki/Feather Woman Quotes in Fools Crow

The Fools Crow quotes below are all either spoken by So-at-sa-ki/Feather Woman or refer to So-at-sa-ki/Feather Woman. 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 33 Quotes

“I do not fear for my people now. As you say, we will go to a happier place, far from the Napikwans, this disease and starvation. But I grieve for our children and their children, who will not know the life their people once lived. I see them on the yellow skin and they are dressed like Napikwans, they watch the Napikwans and learn much from them, but they are not happy. They lose their own way.”

“Much will be lost to them,” said Feather Woman. “But they will know the way it was. The stories will be handed down, and they will see that their people were proud and lived in accordance with the Below Ones, the Underwater People—and the Above Ones.”

Related Characters: White Man’s Dog/Fools Crow (speaker), So-at-sa-ki/Feather Woman (speaker)
Page Number: 362-3
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Fools Crow LitChart as a printable PDF.
Fools Crow PDF

So-at-sa-ki/Feather Woman Character Timeline in Fools Crow

The timeline below shows where the character So-at-sa-ki/Feather Woman appears in Fools Crow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 10
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...a doll stuffed with tobacco seeds and human hair; and the sacred digging stick that So-at-sa-ki used to dig turnips as Morning Star’s wife. (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
 Morning Star had married So-at-sa-ki, a mortal Pikuni woman, and moved her to the sky. But she missed her family,... (full context)
Chapter 33
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
War Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
Fools Crow is confused and stares at the woman, and then, suddenly, he understands. “ Feather Woman !” he yells. He says that he thought she had died in mourning. Feather Woman... (full context)
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
Feather Woman begins to tell Fools Crow her story. One morning, she went out to dig turnips... (full context)
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
Back on earth, Feather Woman rejected her people and died of a broken heart. Her transgression had caused her misery,... (full context)
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
“You have seen something,” says Feather Woman . Fools Crow confirms and says that his hope is “futile.” There is nothing he... (full context)
Chapter 34
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Dreams, Visions, and Storytelling Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...far, Boss Ribs says that his daughter died the night before. Fools Crow thinks of Feather Woman and thousands of wailing geese. (full context)
Chapter 36
Colonialism and Western Expansion Theme Icon
Spirituality and the Natural World Theme Icon
...journey remain in the camp. As thunder rolls in the distance, Fools Crow thinks of Feather Woman , and he knows that she is watching. As they walk, he “knows that they... (full context)