A Sioux Winter Count
A 131-Year Calendar of Events
Winter Counts were the historical calendars of the Sioux. To record time, a historian appointed by the tribe drew one pictograph on a buffalo or deer skin at the end of each winter season. The pictograph represented a significant event that had happened that year. The winter count described in this book is the Big Missouri Winter Count, housed in the Sioux Museum in Rapid City, South Dakota. It is one of the best preserved of all these Indian calendars. It commemorates 131 years (from 1796 to 1926) in the lives of the Sioux bands who lived along the Missouri River, spanning that century which brought such devastating change for western Indians.
In addition to the full reproduction of the Winter Count on the frontispiece, each years's entry in the book includes a Ralph Shane reproduction of the original pictograph. Following the traditional interpretation by a Sioux medicine man, Kills Two, a parallel history of westward expansion into the Dakotas, and of government Indian policies, gives the reader an eagle's eye view of the Sioux experience during those critical years in the life of America.
64 pp — ©1998