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Winter Counts

A “winter count” was a visual depiction of symbols, images and markings on animal hides that documented important events for the First Nation People.  Historically, Paleolithic and some neolithic images, cave drawings and carvings were used to tell stories about tribal people before the advent of drawing on hides. Winter counts consisted of pictographic images which were painted on buffalo hides that recorded historical information about the tribes evolution and important events that the people should remember to pass onto the future.

Click on images to enlarge
   
"And We Found Ponies of Many Colors"
21.5" x 30, Acrylic and Watercolor on Arches

Private Collector, Fargo ND

   
And We Seen the Soldiers Fall From the Sky and Run Like Women Winter Count Art

"And We Seen the Soldiers Fall From the Sky and Run Like Women"
25" x 36 ", Acrylic and Watercolor on Arches

Private Collector, TX

Designed on arches watercolor paper in the shape of a buffalo hide, this piece is fashioned like the historic American Indian Plains Winter Count or hide painting. This hide painting serves as a historical reference to present three very specific events of The Battle of Little Big Horn, or what was known as Custer’s Last Stand.
To read the full interpretation, click here.


   
Lifting the Bears Pipes Winter Count Art

"Lifting the Bears Pipes"
30 x 26, Mixed Medium; ink and acrylic on watercolor paper
Private Collector, Bismarck ND

The bear has been long known as a symbol of strength, bravery, healing and protection among tribal people. Lifting the bear pipes is a tribute to the sacredness of the bear spirit.
To read the full interpretation, click here.


   
Winter Count Art

Untitled
30 x 26, Mixed Medium; acrylic on antiqued watercolor paper

Private Collector, Bismarck ND


   
Making of Relatives Winter Count Art "Making of Relatives"
22 ½” X 30” ½”, Mixed media on Arches 300lbs water color
Private collector, Flagstaff, AZ

   

And We Seen the Soldiers Fall From the Sky and Run Like Women Winter Count Art

"Bobtail Bull, Arikara Scout Gathers Enemy Ponies"
22 ½” X 30” ½”, Mixed media on Arches 300lbs water color
Private collector, Chicago, IL

This depiction is of Bob Tail Bull; riding between both the Sioux and Cheyenne camps gathering the enemy ponies, this piece is displayed in winter count fashion but is more appropriately a ledger hide painting. The winter counts were pictographic depictions of a tribe’s history documented on a hide or material that gave reference to monumental occurrences of the tribe. 
To read the full interpretation click here

   

Untitled
22 ½” X 30” ½”, Mixed media on Arches 300lbs water color
Collector, Senator Daschle of SD

 


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