National Geographic : 1955 Mar
376 Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution A Buffalo Robe Painted by Lone Dog Records 71 Winters Among the Dakota Sioux Several Plains tribes kept calendars wherein they noted the passing years with symbols of important events drawn on skin or cloth. Figures usually ran in a counterclockwise spiral outward from the center. This winter count begins in 1800, a year shown by 30 parallel lines in three columns close to the center. Each line stands for a Dakota slain by the Crows. Directly above, a spotted figure marks a smallpox epidemic. Next, a horseshoe indicates shod mounts stolen from white men by the Dakotas, whose horses lacked shoes. Log cabin with a plume of smoke (lower right) indicates a Canadian trader's settlement in 1817-18. A shower of meteorites (left) represents 1833-34, when "the stars fell." A cow (right) stands for 1868-69, when Texas longhorns entered the Dakota country. Blacked-out sun attended by stars shows the eclipse of August 7, 1869.