How the Tornado Came to Be: Local Constructions by Kiowas and by 69M6fJ4g


									 How the Tornado Came to Be:
Local Constructions by Kiowas
  and Meteorologists on the
    Southern Great Plains

        Mark H. Palmer
   Department of Geography
    University of Oklahoma
Slapout, Ok 6/11/97 (Todd Lindley)
    The Human Dimensions of
 Observations

 Language

 Images
  Movement and Observation
 Both Kiowa and meteorological
 knowledge of tornadoes are highly
 dependent upon movement.
 Movement is important in the
 observation and subsequent
 inscription of tornado images.
  Movement and Observation
 The  Kiowa Man-ka-ih story emerged
  from a migratory people who roamed
  the plains of what are now known as
  the Texas Panhandle, northeast New
  Mexico, eastern Colorado, western
  Kansas, and western Oklahoma.
 Their experiences and observations
  of tornadoes molded the creation of
  the story.
 Migration
  and why?
 Core area
  and why?
 Sun Dance
   Movement and Observation
 Insimilar fashion scores of
 meteorologists roamed these same
 places in search of the elusive
 tornado, a ground truthing exercise
 that led to the development of
 universal scientific inscriptions.
Movement, Observation, Ground
 Kiowa   – oral, some written,
  particular, and local; Kiowa language
  and ideas integrated into the work of
  Kiowa scholars
 Meteorology – mathematics, physics,
  local to universal, particular to
          Images: Kiowa
 Over  time, various Kiowa people
  including Silver Horn, N. Scott
  Momaday, and Al Momaday created
  inscriptions representing the story
  which circulated through the greater
  American society.
 Images contain information
  Kiowa Pictorial Calendar:
Summer and Winter of 1833 -35
Summer and Winter 1936
Lightning comes from its mouth,
    and the tail, whipping and
 thrashing on the air, makes the
  high, hot wind of the tornado.
But they speak to it, saying “Pass
over me.” They are not afraid of
  Man-ka-ih, for it understands
          their language
      (Momaday, 1969: 48).
       Images: Meteorology
 SupercellSchematic
 Doppler Radar: Reflectivity, Velocity
           Comparing Systems
       Kiowa                           Meteorology

Understanding through        Understanding through the
language and stories         language of mathematics and

Kiowa is difficult to        Meteorology is difficult to
understand: rigor, system,   understand: rigor, toil,
toil, local                  system, local to universal
           Comparing Systems
       Kiowa                            Meteorology

Image: constructing, shaping   Image: constructing, shaping
the horse out of clay          tornadoes out of scientific

Tornadoes not understood by    Tornadoes not understood by
the Kiowas; learning through   scientists; learning through
observations                   observation
           Comparing Systems
       Kiowa                              Meteorology

Kiowas spoke to the wind         Scientists observed, created
spirit and all was calm          formulas, communicated
(communication)                  results and all was calm

The image of Man-ka-ih a         Doppler radar images and
great wild horse roams the       schematics of supercells for
skies, it is violent, Kiowas     the southern Great Plains
speak to it, asking it to pass   emerge from the observations
over as they enter storm         as people are asked to enter
shelters that take on the        storm shelters that take on
shape of the Earth (Momaday,     the shape of the Earth
            Comparing Systems

        Kiowa                                Meteorology

Man-ka-ih still alive and well      Images alive and well through
among a small network of            a large network of scientists,
Kiowas and other members of         publications, TV broadcasters,
plains Indian tribes; pictorials;   funding agencies, public
paintings and book texts            policies, and the general
(Local and Particular)              public that have been enrolled
                                    in the network (local to
Thank You!

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