A few months ago I was asked to draw a pictograph of the arrival of the horse. I was also working on a short essay about the sense of place that the Dakota and Lakota people have for the Northern Great Plains. I want to share with you reader the picture I drew on ledger graph paper.
It is more than just a picture. The words on the top right say, "Waniyetu ehanna, Sung noni ota kin." In English this means, "A log time ago, They saw many horses." The text is lifted from the John K Bear Winter Count, a Pabaska Ihanktowana (Cuthead Yanktonai) Dakota winter count. The year that they saw horses for the first time was 1692.
The words on the left half of the picture at a nintey degree angle are a prayer, the Lord's Prayer:
Ate unyapi Mahpiya ekta nanke cin, Nicaje wakanlapi nunwe. Nitokiconze u nunwe. Mahpiay ekta nitawacin econpi kin, he iyecel maka akanl econpi nunwe. Anpetu ihohi aguyapi kin, anpetu kin le unqu piye. Na tona ecinsniyan ecaunkicinpi wicaunkicicajujupi kin, he iyecel waunhtanipi kin unkiciajujupiye. Na taku wawiyutanye cin ekta unkayapi sni piye; Tka taku sice etanhan eunklaku piye; Wokiconse kin, na wowasake kin, na wowitan kin hena ohinniyan naohinniyan nitawa heon. Amen.
Here's a link to the article and my pictograph as it appears in this magazine. The other articles are worth reading too. The majority of the content of this issue of the On Second Thought magazine focus on the current changes facing the western half of the state and the impact of the oil development there.
Click here >: On Second Thought [A Sense of Place], Spring 2012.