Chief Plenty Coos is named based on a translation of his name from the word “coup” and an old expression that he “counted many coups” on his enemies – or had many truimphs over his enemies. In the Crow language, his name is Alaxchiiaahush meaning, “Many War achievements.” The act of sneaking into an enemy camp, stealing a horse or weapong, then touching the enemy with a coup stick to return without be killed or without killing the enemy, was considered a much greater, braver act than just fighting. This was something that Plenty Coos excelled at and hence achieved his name.
He was the last chief or leader that was elected by the other chiefs over all of the three Crow tribes, the Mountain Crow, the River Crow, and Kicked In The Bellies band. Having a visionary approach to the settlement of the land by the Europeans, he felt that they would eventually take over the land and wanted to align his people with them. During the late 1800’s the United States Army was at war with the Sioux and Cheyenne who were past enemies of the Crow, which helped in persuading his people to side with the Army and many Crow warriors became scouts for General George Crook.
Chief Plenty Coos was also a visionary in education. He felt strongly that if his people were educated, they would be equal to the white settlers and without education, they would be their victims.
Four years before his death in 1932, Chief Plenty Coups donated 195 acres to Big Horn County to create a park for future generations. The park is located near Pryor, Montana and contains the log cabin he lived in. He is also buried there and park visitors may visit his grave.
This piece of American History is captured on some of our products: