A "winter count" is a Native tradition used
to keep track of important events that happen each "winter"
in a tribe. The image to the left is the Winter Count of the Brulé
Dakota tribe and it tells the history from 1230-1907.
Drawings were used to record the important events in tribal
life and told the story of the winters passed.They would make a drawing
to represent the event they decided to record. Different drawings represented
different events such as, the introduction of the horse, buffalo hunts,
severe winter storms, smallpox epidemics, and other significant events.
Each tribe also had a Keeper of the Wintercount, an elder who knew the
full story behind each picture. Every winter, the Keeper of the Wintercount
would tell all the stories to the people so they could learn and remember
the history of the tribe.
Below is a drawing from The Battiste
Good Winter Count
Here is a link to information and images of actual winter
We will borrow the idea of a wintercount as one way to
answer the question, "What is our life like?" Each month, our
class must decide what is the most important event of the month to record,
and you will also choose or create a graphic to represent that event.
Maybe September is the month you started to learn handwriting. Perhaps
November is the month everyone in one of your classrooms had to get Meningitis
shots. In April, there might have been a freak snowstorm and the school
was closed for 3 days. Was May your graduation month?
Do you get the idea?
Create your own version of a winter count on paper or