The Documents

O'odham Calendar Sticks

The O'odham reckoned their history using "calendar sticks"-ribs from the saguaro cactus, marked with distinctive figures that helped their keepers to recall important events on a year-by-year basis. In keeping with the importance of water to life in Sonoran desert, the O'odham measured each year not from January to December but rather from one summer rainy period to the next.

Tco'Kut Nak holding a calendar stick
Tco'Kút Nak holding a calendar stick