This paper describes an ethnographically-oriented participant-observation study conducted during the annual Crow Fair, held in south central Montana. Data collected included audio-recorded interviews with participants, participant observations, photographic and video recordings. Narrative interviews were transcribed and analyzed using the constant comparison method. Multiple data sources improved the veracity of this study through triangulation, and four themes emerged from the data: commercialization, alcohol abuse, spirituality, and community. The researchers discuss these themes and their conclusions regarding the "selling" of Native American culture as a form of cultural transmission. Theme analysis revealed the researchers recognized that the principal researcher had changed his view of the Crow Fair as being frivolous to having a deeper purpose and meaning to participants.


Native Americans, Crow Tribe, Culture, Commercialization, Qualitative Research, Ethnography, and Grounded Theory


Funding for this research was made possible by the University of Southern Indiana’s Faculty Research and Creative Awards Grant.

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