Fools Crow

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James Welch tells of many of the Lone Eaters traditions and practices in Fools Crow. Few of have had the emphasis and meaning that is placed in the ceremony of the Sun Dance and praise of the Sun Chief. There are many reasons and ways the people worship the Sun Chief, some that can be explained and some that will never be understood.
The people of the tribe have many gods that they call the Above Ones. None is more important and reverenced in such a way as the Sun Chief. " I now pray to you to grant us abundance in summer and health in winter" (Welch 112). He is prayed to for all sorts of things including long life, plentiful harvest, water, and good animals. The god of the sun is their god above gods. The Sun Chief is what Zeus was to the ancient Greeks. They pray to other gods, but they are lower gods or messengers to the supreme one. He is built a lodge and prayed and sacrificed to, once a year. After the people believed the pray was successful they have hope and good feeling going into the next year. " I believe our father, Sun Chief, is satisfied with us." (Welch 121). He was to bring them rain at the right time, thick and everlasting blackhorns, pity to the poor, and healing to the sick. This ceremony was definitely a pivotal time in the essence of the Lone Eaters and Black Feet people.
Heavy Shield Woman has the most important role of anyone in the rituals honoring the Sun Chief. She was chosen to be the leader of the prayer to him and this role is as momentous of a challenge and honor that there is in the tribe. Basically, the whole fortune of the people for the next year rests on her shoulders. " If you are successful, the Pikunis will prosper and enjoy favor with the spirit world. If you fail, if you are not strong or virtuous enough, great harm will come to us" (Welch 102). For all the good the Sun Chief could bring to the people, he could also bring bad and that would be blamed directly on …