of the Plains First Nations
One of the many forms of recording warrior exploits were on tanned buffalo hides. Stories of battles, coups, and accomplishments were told through pictograph paintings. Earlier recordings referred to as ‘winter counts’ can also be found on tipi covers, shields, and in some cases ledger books that were provided by the Indian Agents.
These drawings were made by the tribe's historian and record an important event for each year. These accounts, called winter counts, are historical textbooks.
More frequently, however, pictographs recorded stories of battles, horse raids, or some other important endeavors.
These stories are recorded in two ways. On the one hand, the recorder painted stories he had heard recounted by warriors. These paintings are strictly historical documentation.
In other cases, the men painted accounts of their own feats as they retold stories about their lives. With each telling, the man would recall the Power that helped him in a particular circumstance and ask that all who heard his story be blessed similarly by the Power.