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 Tornadoes 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. Movement and Observation Migration and why? Core area and why? Sun Dance Climatology 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 Truthing Language 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 generalizations 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 Man-ka-ih 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 Schematic Images Comparing Systems Kiowa Meteorology Understanding through Understanding through the language and stories language of mathematics and science 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 facts 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 communication 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 1969) 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 universal) Thank You!
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