My den has had a wall calendar next to the desk from the Montana Historical Society for 25 years in a row. The Society’s four calendars for 2017 are a great example of their yearly selections.
I like the black and white archival photographs calendar since it comes every year as a membership benefit. There’s almost always a selection of paintings from Montana artist Charlie Russell and a scenic photographs calendar and, as you see in the photograph here, Indian art.
Since I often write about Montana, all of these are inspirational. I find myself looking at them as I work almost as though their mandalas.
For non-members, these calendars, from top to bottom in the graphic, retail for $12.99 (an engagement calendar), $10.95, $9.95, and $14.99
Cowgirls and Cowboys
Growing up with westerns on TV and in the theaters, cowboys were an icon of the American west, larger than life and nearly mythic. However, photographs in “Cowgirls & Cowboys” show people at work. As the calendar’s introduction points out, these women and men worked in a beautiful place and came to know the land, weather and their animals very well. Nonetheless, they “endured long hours and difficult conditions for relatively little pay.”
The Lakota Way
This beautiful calendar features the work of Lakota and Iroquois artist Jim Yellowhawk, “whose work evokes Lakota star knowledge and the unique Lakota way of life.” He grew up on South Dakota’s Cheyenne River Reservation. You can see samples of his work on his website here.
Each month includes a Lakota wisdom story from teacher and historian Joseph M. Marshall III who grew up on Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation. His books include The Lakota Way of Strength and Courage and The Day the World Ended at Little Bighorn. On his website, he writes, “Cante wasteya nape ciyuzapelo. I take your hand in friendship. This is a common Lakota greeting. The literal meaning is with a good heart I take your hand.”
I’m drawn to Montana’s land, history and people. Even if you’ve never been there, a calendar from the Big Sky Country can brighten up a room. Chances are good, though, that your state or favorite place has a historical society as well. Their calendars remind us of why we like a place and–especially if there are kids in the house–have a wonderful educational value as well.