Who are the crows in The Way to Rainy Mountain?
The crows are minor characters in The Way to Rainy Mountain, but they have a pivotal role in the Kiowa tribe's eventual worship of Tai-me (the strange creature that descended directly from the Sun).
It is important to realize that crows are actually referred to as one capitalized character called "the Crow" which represents this particular bird as a messenger from the Sun. The Kiowa were already partial to the Sun deity before the Crow announced this new relation to the Sun. It wasn't long after the Crow's announcement that Tai-me appeared. Tai-me was a very strange creature that was half bird and half mammal. Due to the Crow's original announcement, the Kiowa immediately began to worship Tai-me. Even though Tai-me eventually needed to return to the Sun, it left a stone effigy for the Kiowa to worship. This effigy would be revealed one day a year in the Sun Dance lodge so that the entire tribe could worship Tai-me during the Sun Dance.
In conclusion, it is important to note that the Crow is mentioned only within the mythological voice (the first of the three voices) spoken by Momaday in The Way to Rainy Mountain. The other voices, of course, are the historical and the personal. Each voice can be found one after the other in every one of the twenty-four numbered sections.