June 20th, 2014 Last Updated on: June 20th, 2014
NPR recently ran a story on the Silver Horn calendar and how it had documented weather events in the Oklahoma region, such as tornadoes.
The first year of the Silver Horn calendar was 1828, known as Pipe Dance Summer. The hot days of 1855 were recorded with a drawing of a man with very long hair and feathers on his head. It was known as Long-haired Pawnee Killed Summer. The Horses Ate Ashes Winter of 1862-63 shows a horse that cannot find grass to eat in the deep snows.
And the summer of 1905 was called Great Cyclone Summer. It is a graphic depiction of a tornado's destruction — of human life and property.
The cause of the twister? According to the Kiowa, it was the Storm-Maker Red Horse, a supernatural being with the upper body of a horse and a long, snakelike tail that whipped around and created tornadoes. The beast struck again in the last panel: Red Horse Winter.
Back in 2009 the calendar was displayed in an exhibit at the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History but for conservation reasons, the calendar has now been returned to storage. Images can still be viewed and studied through this online exhibition.
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