Pat Shingleton: "Winter Count Continues"
Friday's column described "winter count," whereby Native Americans chronicled the winter season. As noted, many tribes went into hibernation during the harsh winters and sketched images that also included battles, deaths of leaders and extreme climate conditions. Some of the winter count entries date back to 1686 where John K. Bear noted "ice all over the land." In 1711 Batiste Good journaled, "four lodges drowned winter" and Ben Kindle reported in 1773, "Even the dogs got snow blindness." The Native American, known as American Horse, noted from 1789 to 1791, "They could not hunt on account of the deep snow" and floods in 1825 to 1826 found multiple authors reporting, "Missouri floods, kills 30 lodges." Researchers believe these entries suggest that Native American winter counts contain valuable climate records.