The Lakota Winter Count

Published on January 14, 2013 by Amy

Love this article and want to save it to read again later? Add it to your favourites! To find all your favourite posts, check out My Favourites on the menu bar.

The Lakota Winter Count
The Lakota Winter Count

A winter count is a record of history. For generations, Plains Indians drew pictographs to document their daily experiences. The Lakota term for winter count is wniyetu wowapi. The word Wowapi translates as “anything that can be read or counted.” Waniyetu is the Lakota word for year, which is measured from first snow to first snow.

dna testing, dna ancestry testing, ancestry, genealogy, indian genealogy records, paternity testing, turquoise jewelry, native american jewelry

Usually drawn on buffalo skin or deer hide, Lakota winter counts are composed of pictographs organized in spiral or horizontal rows. Each pictograph represents a year in history of a Lakota community. The pictographs were organized in chronological order so that the winter count provided an outline of events for the community’s Keeper or oral historian.

Winter counts were also used by individuals within the tribal community to record specific events in their own lives. Tribal communities made up of members of extended family or tiyospayes also recorded their story and experiences on a winter count so it was not uncommon to have multiple copies of winter counts within a community.

Winter counts were dynamic documents of recorded history. Variations between similar counts occurred if a community historian chose to emphasize a different aspect of an event or select another event all together. Differences among winter count narratives may also be the result of inaccurate translation from Lakota to English. The winter count, like history, is selective representation of a people’s past. The narratives usually reflect both the community’s history and culture.

Source: aktalakota

NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged
Based on the collective work of NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
Cite This Source | Link To The Lakota Winter Count
Add these citations to your bibliography. Select the text below and then copy and paste it into your document.

American Psychological Association (APA):

The Lakota Winter Count NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Retrieved May 30, 2015, from NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com website: http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/the-lakota-winter-count/

Chicago Manual Style (CMS):

The Lakota Winter Count NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com. NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/the-lakota-winter-count/ (accessed: May 30, 2015).

Modern Language Association (MLA):

"The Lakota Winter Count" NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Native American Encyclopedia 30 May. 2015. <NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/the-lakota-winter-count/>.

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE):

NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com, "The Lakota Winter Count" in NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged. Source location: Native American Encyclopedia http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/the-lakota-winter-count/. Available: http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com. Accessed: May 30, 2015.

BibTeX Bibliography Style (BibTeX)

@ article {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com2015,
    title = {NativeAmericanEncyclopedia.com Unabridged},
    month = May,
    day = 30,
    year = 2015,
    url = {http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/the-lakota-winter-count/},
}
You might also like:

Tags:  , , , ,

Facebook Comments

You must be logged in to post a comment.