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

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Mark H. Palmer Department of Geography University of Oklahoma

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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

  • In similar 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-ihLightning 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

  • Supercell Schematic

  • Doppler Radar: Reflectivity, Velocity


Schematic


Images


Comparing Systems

Kiowa Meteorology


Comparing Systems

Kiowa Meteorology


Comparing Systems

Kiowa Meteorology


Comparing Systems

Kiowa Meteorology


Thank You!


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