According to Momaday, the Crows shared their culture and religion with the Kiowas, his grandmother's people. As a result, the Kiowas learned to worship Tai-me, the Sun Dance god, in their religious rituals. As a child, Momaday's grandmother participated in the Sun Dances. He tells us that she was seven when she attended the last Kiowa Sun Dance in 1887, on the Washita River above Rainy Mountain Creek.
At ten, Momoday's grandmother witnessed the dispersal of a Sun Dance before its sacred rituals could be completed. The date was July 20th, 1890, when soldiers from Fort Sill put an end to the Sun Dance rituals forever. Additionally, the decimation of the buffalo (the buffalo was part of the rituals), left the Kiowa without any means to continue their religious traditions. This is why the ceremonies stopped occurring.
The author remembers his grandmother praying long, rambling, and anguished prayers, petitions he has no comprehension of. It seemed to the narrator at the time that her suffering and grief at the loss of her people's traditions were eloquently expressed in her emotionally fraught prayers.