Plenty Coups Day of Honor celebrates 25th anniversary

Thursday, September 5, 2019
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Photo By Rusty LaFrance

Several vendors, including Cedar Bull Tail ( above ) set up shop during the 25th annual Plenty Coups Day of Honor at Plenty Coups State Park in Pryor last weekend.

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Photo By Michael Smith

Young dancers Crow Hop during the intertribal dances during the 25th Annual Plenty Coups Day of Honor last Saturday.

Plenty Coups State Park held the 25th Anniversary of the Chief Plenty Coups Day of Honor on Saturday August 31.

The great chief, who donated his home to be a place where the Crow people could come and visit and seek spiritual clarity and enlightenment, has been under the care of the Montana State Park system ever since.

While the scorching heat was definitely a factor during the celebrations, it was certainly not enough to deter the visitors to the park away from the festivities.

From a fun run 5K, several presentations, various native vendors, watching the Crow style dancing, viewing cultural displays and taking an exploration of the grounds, there was no shortage of activities to choose from.

Cedar Bull Tail, owner of Cedar Rose Creations, was part of the group of vendors who came together with the Apsáalooke Community Market, to be present at the Day of Honor said that Plenty Coups Day is one that she looks forward to all year.

“I even missed my sister’s wedding one year just to make sure I made it over for Plenty Coups Day!” Bull Tail said with a laugh.

Bull Tail is a relative of Chief Plenty Coups’ sister, a woman named Goes Well, which is where her family comes from according to Bull Tail.

“I’ve been coming every year that I possibly could,” said Bull Tail. “It means so much to me coming here because of the family ties. It’s something that I look forward to all year long.”

Bull Tail also says that as a vendor who has come to the celebration for so long, it has done nothing but become a bigger and bigger event, not just for the community of Pryor, but for the entire reservation.

“Many of the visitors who come here aren’t just from the reservation, but some of them came from so many different backgrounds and they really love having that interaction and seeing

it all come to life,” said Bull Tail.

Visitors to the park who chatted with Bull Tail at her stand said that they came from North Carolina and just happened to be at the park on the day of the celebration.

Bull Tail also acknowledged the spiritual aspect of the grounds and that the celebrations bring a sense of revitalization to the plant life.

“The normal life expectancy for some of the plant life that is here has gone way past what it should be,” said Bull Tail, an expert on Crow medicinal plants. “These (trees) here only live for about 10 years and these have been here for as long as I can remember. The medicine spring is being taken care of and protected here, as well, and I’m very glad that it is under the states protection.”

The chief, who had no natural children of his own and considered the Crow people his children, was paramount in preserving the cultural integrity of the Crow people transitioning to life in a modern world different to the nomadic, free buffalo days lived in for millennia.