In James Welch’s story, “Fools Crow,” we learn about an Indian boy becoming a man, how his tribe survives and the trials and tribulations of being an American Indian. As you read this story it takes you through the life of Fools Crow. It shows his struggles to become a part of the tribe, not a nobody. Fools Crow goes through many stages in order to find his place in the tribe. His mentor who helps him see his worth in the tribe is Mik-api, the medicine man. “Mik-api’s prayers in the sweat lodge for Fools Crow had been answered” to make him into a respected Indian. I feel that James Welch has brought his ancestors, the American Indian, to light for us all to learn more about in this one book. The story of Fools Crow does not start from the beginning of his life, but eighteen years after his birth. Gender roles are very important in this book. You are a child or without honor until you have many horses and a wife or several wives. It seems that the way you get honor and horses is to raid your enemies’ camps and steal their horses for your own. Then it depends on your role in this stealing of horses as to how much honor or horses you will receive. If you play a big part in the raid and are brave you will get the most horses.
Another dream that Fast Horse had was about the “Ice Spring Dream”. This dream was to find the Ice Spring and drink from it which would give you great powers for the raid. Fast Horse never did find the Ice Spring, so he felt he had failed. Fast Horse was the one that caused Yellow Kidney to get harmed from this raid the young Indian boys were on. Fast Horse eventually was banished from the tribe because of his foolishness during the raid. Fools Crow is Mik-api’s apprentice throughout this book. When Fools Crow is finally forced to use the medicine magic on Red Paints’ brother he is successful. Fools Crow never seems to be as strong a medicine man as Mik-api feels he could have been. Fools Crow does not...
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