Black Bear (Mato Sapo), after Lone Dog
Lakota, dates unknown
South Dakota
Winter Count, about 1900
Leather, pigment, cotton, glue, newsprint
Frederick Weygold Collection 1937.68.210

Preserving the Past
What memorable events mark a year in your life? Members of the Lakota tribe preserve their community’s history on painted hides, using pictographs to document remarkable occurrences each year. This Winter Count (named because the Lakota count a year beginning with the season’s first snowfall) records events that took place between 1800 and 1871, starting in the center with the parallel lines and spiraling counterclockwise. On special occasions, the keeper of the Winter Count used the hide to recount stories of the tribe’s past and foster a sense of communal history and identity.