This is a legend taken from the Crow, one of the Native American peoples of the State of Montana. They shared that region with the Blackfeet, Kalispell, Sioux, Shoshone, and Kootenai, and others.
A long time ago the Indians roamed the West like the buffalo, one family scattered and returned by change. There were no separate tribes.
One of the Indians was a woman of powerful beauty. She gave birth to twin sons, but she did not know who their father was. The beautiful woman sang her sons to sleep with a heartbreaking lullaby, and everyone who heard it took pity on her.
When the boys were near manhood, they began to behave a little differently from their friends. Earth-Boy stopped following the buffalo everywhere and began to stay close beneath the willows of his home, searching for pretty rocks and carefully observing the slow growth of the plants. Star-Boy also grew lax in his hunting but rather than staying at home he began to wander far beyond the buffalo. He slept during the days so that at night he could watch the travels of his star family.
The man was a star. He told Star-Boy that he was his father but that he spent his time traveling far beyond the Earth, and he said that he would not pass near the mountain again in his son's lifetime.
He told Star-Boy that tobacco would make everyone in their family strong and free. To share tobacco and its power, people must be adopted into Star-Boy's family. Star-Boy listened carefully, but he was too overwhelmed to speak. He nodded his head gratefully, and his father burst away from him, back to the sky.
When Star-Boy came down from the mountains, he found Earth-Boy, and offered to adopt him and share the tobacco.
"I don't want to grow anything more," said Star-Boy. "I will follow the buffalo, and be as strong as an eagle, and as free as the wind."
Earth-Boy smiled. "I will be as strong as rock, my brother," he said, "and steady as sunrise. But no matter how different our families become, we will never quarrel. Your father has given you tobacco, and mine has given me the way of the Medicine Pipe. When we smoke together, your plant with my pipe, our fathers will give us peace and colors of the sunset."
When Star-Boy left, some of the people went with him, hoping to be adopted into his family. Even before they learned the secrets of tobacco, the people who followed Star-Boy took a name, and called themselves the Crow.
The ones who stayed with Earth-Boy to learn to farm were called after the willows of their home, Hidatsa.
And so the people were divided into tribes, but the power of
tobacco and the pipe kept them from becoming enemies