6/3/20143 *The Cover Picture Recorded by Sicangu winter count keeper Battiste Good or Wapostan Gi (Brown Hat) who depicted a chief and his wife engulfed in flames The picture tells of the time in 1762, when a lead band called Cokatowela (blue in the middle camp) was encamped for the night after a long trek from southern Minnesota They were awakened by a prairie fire that swept through the village fanned by a high wind Many tipis were destroyed and some lost their lives, the remaining jumped into a lake and stream to save themselves Next morning when they examined themselves, they were all burnt about the thighs, hence they were called Sicangu (burnt thighs) or (Brule) *A colored rendition of Battiste Goods winter count
6/3/20144 The Winter Count Translated as Waniyetu (winter) Wowapi (draw or write) drawing or transcribed accounts Can be translated as Waniyetu Yawapi (reading) reading the accounts Also called picture graph writings Called winter counts because winter is the leisure time when important events for the winter calendar year are collected and one is selected and drawn
6/3/20145 Function of Winter Count Display war deeds of individuals and groups Communication and education for the tiospaye members, especially the youth Promote the identity of a group or tiospaye as distinguished from other groups Its primary function is to keep track of events for use as a measuring device for determining ones age
6/3/20146 Background of Winter Counts The origins of winter counts are found on many rock carvings, peckings and paintings in many hills, mountains, canyons and caves throughout the great plains. Most of these rock carvings and paintings reflected on the lifestyles of people who traveled from one location to another in search of sustenance and peace. The carved and painted symbols indicated that religious beliefs combined with a successful hunts and war were of utmost importance to the people who depended on nature and spiritual powers to sustain them.
6/3/20147 Rock Painting: Forerunning of the Winter Count Grizzly Bear Panel, Guernsey Wyoming
6/3/20148 Incised Rock Panel Depiction of a figure falling from the sky It is thought to be Tonwin Falling, Star Boys mother the culture hero of the Lakota The figure could be pregnant with Star Boy who fell from the sky Located in the southern Black Hills Slide 7 and 8 Images courtesy of SDAS Journel
6/3/20149 Pecked Rock Panel Located at Whoopup Canyon, Wyoming Rock panel depicts an ancient life renewal ceremony Similar to the Elk Dreamer Society drawings
6/3/ Painted Shirt Earliest form of a shirt with war deeds painted on buckskin with hair fringes A Lakota war leaders shirt Pictograph drawings are similar to winter counts and paintings on rocks Photo courtesy of Taylor Archives
6/3/ The Winter Count Winter counts are picture writings that account for some important deed, action and event that happened in one year-a series of events made up the winter count A winter count is called a winter count because one important event per winter calendar year was selected to be added as an entry A winter count is usually drawn on a medium made up of a buffalo hide, a muslin, canvas, blank ledger books, cow hides or deer hides A man of importance, usually a leader, spiritual person, or a dexterous man designated by the tribe made the winter counts and was called a winter count keeper (Waniyetu Wowapi Gluha)
6/3/ continued When a keeper passed away or retired, his works would pass on to a descendant and if there were no descendants than the tribe would designate a qualified keeper When a winter count keeper passed away, he was buried with his work, since his designated heir would have started his own helped by his mentor-(most buffalo hide counts span was short) Originally winter counts were drawn on buffalo hides and completed in a spiral format however, the depletion of the buffalo and the technological- educational influence of the non Indian caused the counts to be done in a square format (sometimes they were written without symbols or picture writing)
6/3/ Winter Count Formats Spiral Oval or Square Serpentine Linear
6/3/ Winter Count Material Cow Hide Buffalo Hide Deer Hide Ledger or Paper Muslin Other Linen Canvas Calico Sheep- skin Courtesy of NMAI Courtesy of NAA, Smithsonian Institute Courtesy of NMAI
6/3/ Preparation of Hides The hides were staked out and were scraped to clear the stubble and flesh on one side The next step was to boil the brains of a buffalo and apply them the hide, then it was softened by working it more The last step was to smoke it to make it pliable and waterproof-last step an option Women hard at work tanning, this work requires team work, skill, experience and patience Photo image courtesy of NAA Smithsonian Institution
6/3/ Winter Count Buffalo Hides The completed buffalo hides can used for three major purposes- to make a tipi, to make outer clothing or bedding wear and to use it for a winter count Many hides were secured during the big communal hunt or individual hunt to secure a hide for a winter count Finished product ready for painting the winter count events
6/3/ Starting Time of Winter Counts The time was ripe for the initiating a winter count when winter forced everyone inside the tipi This was in the month of Wanicokan Wi (-mid winter moon), one of the coldest of winter time The Lakota calendar consists of 13 months or moons that make up a year and the Lakota new year began when the calving season started in Magasica wi (the moon of the duck-this is the time when the ducks return in spring)
18 Lakota Lunar Calendar Wipazukan Waste Wi Bloketucoka Wi (Wiocokanyan Wi) Kanta Sa Wi Canwahpe Gi Wi Canwahpe Kasna Wi Waniyetu Wi Wiotehika Wi Wicata Wi Taninsni Wi Maga Agli Wi Canwahpe Nableca Wi Canwahpe Ton Wi 13 new moons make up a year- starting with spring (Maga Agli Wi), the new year Wanicoka Wi (Wiocokanyan Wi) Wetu Bloketu Ptanyetu Waniyetu seasons Winter count starts here
6/3/ Traditional Lakota Months A new moon or a black moon is called Wite (moon dies) Wite also designates a month The Lakota observe 13 new moons that make up a year There are 28 days+ that complete the phase of a new moon There are day that complete a Lakota year 13 New Moons make up one year
6/3/ Method of Time Recording Time keeper cuts 13 slashes on a shaft to indicate how many times a new moon appeared per year Each shaft represented one year The first slash was the new year moon when calving time occurred or when the ground thawed A more elaborate record can have all of the 28 notches representing the days following each new moon slash. This method is eff- icient because it is calibrated with changes every year.
6/3/ Selection of Events The calendar of events started from the new year (the vernal equinox) to the winter time for one given year Sometimes a group of elders were invited to meet on selecting one important event of the calendar year of events Events were unusual happenings, spiritual events, brave deeds, weather impacts, tribal battles, disease, drowning of important people or group of people and other events that were significant
6/3/ Tools and Paints Animal hair, particularly manes and tails from horses, was used to make the brushes and sometimes small animal bones shaped into a brush made a good brush to paint Paints were taken from berries that were crushed until the juices were extracted, dried and stored in containers Earth paint was taken from the different colored clays that were gathered Later on ink, lead pencils, crayons and oil paints were supplied by the non Indians
6/3/ Media or Materials to Create Bleached or unbleached muslin was used Cloth or woven material Linen Calico Canvas-all of the above were part of articles given as stipulated by treaty agreements Buffalo hide-depleted during the early res. times Cow hide-beef on hoof that was issued by U.S. Deer-obtained through hunting Sheepskin-once abundant but disappeared Paper–legal and 8 1/2 by 11-issued by day schools Notebooks and ledgers-surplus given out Dew cloth-issued or bought at stores
6/3/ Famine and Disease Symbols Swan Died of meat poisoning Smallpox victim American H Battiste G Victim of meat poisoning measles Swan Died of cramps Measles or smallpox victim American H Battiste G Cloud S Whooping cough American H Died of childbirth American H Starved to death Cloud S Starved to death Battiste G Battiste G Died of childbirth complicated by intestinal disorder
6/3/ Astronomy Symbols Star/comet passed by with big bang Comet came by with loud noise Meteor Showers Storm of Stars Many stars fell It rained stars Battiste G. Swan Cloud S. Flame Swan Roaring star fell Cloud S. Large ball of fire hissing noise Flame Swan Eclipse of sun Encke Comet passed near the earth in 1822, a periodic comet Leonid meteor showers in 1833
6/3/ Horse Raids Cloud S Dog stole 70 Horses Brings lots of H. Red Cloud Census Steals horses Red Cloud Census Cloud S Stole horses and escaped through a torn tipi Drags steals horses Red Cloud Census Crows steal 200 horses from the Mnikowoju Swan Oglala steals 200 horses from Flat Head tribe American H Runs off a horse Red Cloud Census
6/3/ War and Peace Lakotas make peace with the Pawnees Cloud S Lakotas make peace with the Crows American H Lakotas at war with Cheyennes American H Omaha made peace with Lakota to get back prisoners from the Lakota Cloud S, Lakotas make peace with Cheyenne Swan Lakota make peace with Gros Ventre American H Crow and Lakota battle and run out of arrows-resort to throwing dirt at each other Lakota and Omaha make peace Cloud S Chief Stiff Leg killed but his Brule killed 100 Pawnee Battiste G Cloud S
29 The Prototype Count-Spiral Lt. Hugh Reeds copy of Lone Dogs Winter Count (1876) Image courtesy of NMAI, Smithsonian Institution
32 *Lone Dog Winter Count (Deer Skin) Spiral *an Ihanktonna from Ft. Peck
33 Another version of Lone Dogs account Buffalo robe was initially tailored for bedding or outer wear and converted Courtesy of NMAI, Smithsonian Institution Lone Dog Winter Count Spiral ( Hide)
6/3/ Swift Dog Winter Count (Hunkpapa) Square-Spiral (Cloth) Image courtesy of NAA, Smithsonian Institution
35 One of three counts, two are done on deer hide and the other is on a strip of cloth Image Courtesy of NAA, Smithsonian Institution Swift Bear Winter Count-Spiral (Deer Hide)
36 Image courtesy of NMAI, Smithsonian Institution Long Soldier Winter Count (Hunkpapa) Serpentine (Muslin)
Blue Thunder Winter Count, Square on Muslin
38 Image courtesy of NAA, Smithsonian Institution Rosebud Winter Count (Sicangu) Square-Spiral (Muslin) The Rosebud Winter Count is made up of different winter counts that were pieced together from at least two winter counts or more
Text of Cycle 1 The interpretation of Cycle 1 entails the following subjects. 13 tipis encircling: a pipe emitting blue smoke; a white buffalo with udders spilling out blue milk; four colored directions with the north on the left of the circle and the south on the right side of the tipi circle and the east on top of the circle and the west at the bottom. Moreover, there are two men, one sitting in the circle in the flex position to hold a pipe and one standing outside of the tipi circle holding a pipe. Finally, there are two plants, elm and yucca drawn on top of the tipi circle. The 13 tipis represent one year, the pipes smoke is blue representing the sky and prayers, the blue milk from the white calf woman represents milk spilled across the sky (colored blue)-the milky way, the man outside the circle is thirty years old representing a short generation-the time frame for the first 30 year old cycle. The elm root is used for kindle and yucca to make friction to fire the kindle. The absence of the horse, the use of rubbing yucca stalks together to produce a spark thus igniting the rotten elm root to make fire and 800 year cycle illustrates that this cycle is ancient.
Text-Cycle 1: the Legend of the Pipe Goods version of the coming of the pipe is contained in his cycles, he did give his interpretations to the ethnographers of his time. This is his version. A beautiful woman appeared with what seemed to be snakes hanging down her legs but were actually braids of grass. Two men approached her and one of them wanted to catch her for a wife but the other disagreed because he thought she was wakan. The heavenly woman responded and this encounter with the two men abruptly came to an end. She then told the people she came from heaven to teach them how to live and what their future will hold. She told them that she is the white buffalo cow woman and she is giving this pipe to the people to always keep. She said I will spill my milk all over the world so that the people may live. She then gave them a package of four grains of corn with variegated colors of white, black, yellow and red. The interpretation of the giving of milk and corn grains is to make a significant connection between the two. The grains falling from her udders are milk or food for the people. They must learn to grow corn that provides spiritual and healthy food for themselves. Moreover, there is a spiritual connection above where the heavenly woman threw milk across sky that becomes the Milky Way and the corn grains represent the Pleiades. In Lakota astronomy the Milky Way is the road of the spirits where the amulet constellations, turtle and salamander, on their sojourn across the sky pass through the Milky Way for spiritual sustenance and most tribes, as do the Lakota, view the Pleiades as grains of corn reminding the people to grow corn with the appearance of Pleiades in spring.
Text of Cycle 2 The entry shows fourteen tiwahe (house-holds) surrounds the buffalo, this is called Wanisapi or the buffalo hunt surround. This is how the people learned how to hunt the buffalo provided by the White Buffalo Cow Woman. The entry also shows blood trails of the buffalo, bloodied hooves running in different directions and buffalo heads placed near the kills. Good relates that a man named Sungmanitu Tanka ihanble (Wolf Dreamer) with a medicine bow and arrow in hand shoots the buffalo and the women cried out he has killed the chief buffalo. When a man named Wicasa Wakinyan ihanble Nanhan Wahinkpe Wakinyan Ku (Man who dreamed of thunder and recieved an arrow from the Thunder), standing opposite Wolf Dreamer with a bow and arrow heard the cries of the women, he shot a female buffalo. After this all of the men began to kill as much as needed. They then chopped off the heads of the buffalo and placed a pipe beside the head until the work of the hunt ended.
Entry Page 13
45 Text of Page 13 (above) The year two are killed while going back to the hunting ground year The year three were killed while fishing The year they camped near ice and cut through ice for meat The year they killed and buried many bison meet in caches The year the Lakota killed fifteen Pawnees The year enemy came and killed seven Lakota The year while hunting on snow shoes a Gros- Ventre was caught and killed by the Lakota The year they brought back many kettles and pots The year they brought home Omaha horses The year they brought home Hohe horses.
47 Text of Page 14 (above) The year war parties met and three on each side were killed The year when four households drowned The year the Pawnee while hunting eagles were killed by the Lakota The year the Pawnee avenged the death of their eagle hunter by entering the tipi and killing a sleeping Lakota The year the enemy attacked on horseback without inflicting casualties on the Sicangu The year the enemy attacked and stabbed a boy near the tipi The year of getting lots of papa The year they brought back fifteen Hohe horses The year they brought back Pawnee horses The year they wore snowshoes because of heavy snow.
Entry Page 15
Entry Page 16
Entry Page 17
Entry Page 18
Entry Page 19
53 Lt. Reeds cloth copy was superimposed on the above buffalo hide by a photographer (Smithsonian has no hide version of Lone Dogs Winter Count in its collection). An original copy on buffalo hide was done by Lone Dog who allowed Clement,a trader, to copy his version on a hide. Clement, in turn, allowed Lt. Reed to copy his on cloth. (see Reeds copy on slide 29). Image courtesy of NAA, Smithsonian Institution Lone Dog Winter Count- Spiral on Hide
54 Image courtesy of St. Francis Mission Called Mnisose Tanka Waniyetu Wowapi Reproduction of one of the originals kept at the Buechel Lakota Memorial Museum, St. Francis South Dakota Beads or Sam Kills Two re- did and interpreted the account, he added on events after 1820 One copy at St. Francis- Buechel Lakota Memorial Museum Big Missouri Winter Count-Linear (Deer Hide) by Big Missouri
55 Big Missouri Winter Count-Linear(Hide) Image from Journey Museum at Rapid City, SD
56 Big Missouri Winter Count-Linear(Hide) Image from Journey Museum at Rapid City, SD Original on Muslin by Big Missouri
6/3/ Spotted Tail Tipi Liner-(Sicangu) Images courtesy of Mary Henson Saunders from Iowa State Museum-P. Galgard collection
6/3/ Indian Autograph Book Igmu Wakute Shooting Cat killing Crow Indian Autograph book page, from Falles-Freeman,1881 Igmu Wakute (Shooting Cat), Jr. of the Wajaje Sicangu
6/3/ The Winter Count in Retrospect The Lakota winter counts began to fade into history with the coming of the non Indian. They had played a major role during the pre-reservation era and like the acculturation of the Lakota, they too became acculturated. It was the technology of the wasicun that put an end to the traditional Lakota winter counts and replaced them with written words, abstract English words with no symbolism.
6/3/ Continued Today, to most non Indians they are viewed as quaint relics of the past and to some they are exquisite works of art. To most non Indian scholars, they are retranslated, analyzed and viewed as remarkable but not real history. To the Lakota they are a bridge to the past and a proud way of life that ended too soon.