Scarface and the Raven

Scarface and the Raven

Morning Star, a girl of great beauty, a Piegan chief’s daughter, was worshipped by many young handsome men of the Piegan tribe. When it came to choose a husband for his daughter, the chief called all the eligible young warriors from his tribe and of some neighboring tribes. He announced that he would hold a contest and the winner would have the maiden as a wife.

The contest would consist of hunting, wrestling and dancing where opponents would be eliminated throughout and the last two rivals enter a shooting match to see who could shoot their arrows farthest.

The young men all gave it their best and in the end there were 2 braves left.

One was a tall, handsome brave named Eagle Wing and according to his name he was known for his aptitude with a bow and arrow.  Morning Star was hoping that he would be the one to win, because the other warrior left was a mean warrior named Scarface.

The night before the final contest, Morning Star called on the Sun God and made an offering to him and asking him for help in making Eagle Wing the winner, as she did not want to marry Scarface.

Scarface also was busy during the night. He went into the forest and met with his friend the Raven. He promised him that he would give him all the food and shelter in winter for the rest of his life if he helped him to win the chiefs daughter. Scarface knew that he could not win by himself against Eagle Wing without help. He told the raven he would be shooting his arrows with red feathers and the Raven should quickly pick the arrow up after it lands and fly with it to drop it farther away. The Raven agreed to the arrangement. 

The next day the whole tribe was assembled to watch the contest. There was going to be 3 tries for each shooter. Eagle Wing shot first, his arrows had a yellow wing and the people could see it flying straight and high in the sky and coming down a long distance away.

Then Scarface shot his arrow with the red feathers. The arrow also went high in the sky but did not seem to go quite as far. Everyone was surprised when they found the arrows and the red feathers were much farther away.  Morning Star gasped and cried out when she saw the result.

The chief, who was very wise and somewhat suspicious of Scarface, as he was sure he had seen Eagle Wing’s shot go much farther, told the contestants that he demanded that they exchange their arrows for the second shot. Scarface said that this was not fair as his feathers were very special and he could not shoot with any others. The Chief insisted and they were forced to comply.

For the next shot the red feathered arrow won again, this time shot by Eagle Wing. Scarface wanted his red arrows back for the last shooting but the Chief told all that he wanted them to shoot for the last and deciding shot with his own arrows to give them both a fair advantage.  He gave them both arrows, one with black feathers for Scarface and white feathers for Eagle Wings. Both men shot and when they all ran to the place where the arrows had come down, they found the arrow with the white feather far ahead and when they came close, they noticed that it had injured a black Raven who was lying on the ground. The Raven was very angry that he had been shot and told everyone about the deal he had with Scarface.

The Chief banned Scarface from his tribe and congratulated Eagle Wing on winning the contest.  The chiefs daughter and him were married soon after and Morning Star bore him 3 healthy sons.

Story by Percy Bullchild, (1915-1986), full blooded Blackfoot Indian

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