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Complex Calendar Documents Kiowa History

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown 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.

Courtesy of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

Courtesy of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

 



Courtesy of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

Courtesy of the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History

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.

For more information on the Silver Horn calendar visit the SNOMNH website or you track down the book One Hundred Summers: A Kiowa Calendar Record written by Candace S. Greene.


Home » Native American Articles » Native American Culture » Complex Calendar Documents Kiowa History

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.



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