Counting coup

Touching an enemy to win prestige among the Plains Indians / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Among the Plains Indians of North America, counting coup is the warrior tradition of winning prestige against an enemy in battle. It is one of the traditional ways of showing bravery in the face of an enemy and involves intimidating him, and, it is hoped, persuading him to admit defeat, without having to kill him. These victories may then be remembered, recorded, and recounted as part of the community's oral, written, or pictorial histories.

Ledger drawing of a mounted Cheyenne warrior counting coup with lance on a dismounted Crow warrior, 1880s.