A Blackfoot History: The Winter Counts : Sikaitapi Itsinniiki
Blackfoot Books, 2017 - Alberta - 422 pages
A small pictographic image, drawn on a tanned deer hide, carries a story of the Blackfoot people. Each year thereafter another is added, until the history of the people emerges in what is called a winter count. That image is a reminder of a significant event, a story to be told in detail to future generations. Historically important, they contain greater implied meanings much like the Blackfoot language itself. To these winter counts are added other stories, told by the people, that relate to the events and culture mentioned in the counts; Niitsitapiiysin, the Blackfoot way of life. Most importantly the information and stories all come from Blackfoot storytellers. It is a refreshing view of history of a people in the words of the Blackfoot people themselves. "In this book, Paul Raczka looks beyond the simple listing of occurrences to tell the story behind the winter counts. He uses them as entries into the rich and varied history of a prairie people from the "dog days" to the twentieth century. These winter counts are doorways and when opened they reveal stories of warfare, leadership, victories, and disasters over a 214-year period." -- Hugh A. Dempsey, Chief Curator Emeritus, Glenbow Museum.--Back cover.
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This is a wonderful book. Thank heavens Paul Raczka finished it before his passing. He has preserved much for future generations.