What follows are recordings of student observations from kišiinkwia kiilhswa (July/August 2009) to cecaahkwa kiilhswa (April/May 2010). Each student was asked to observe one feature (plant, tree, animal, celestial body, or weather phenomena) and its connections to other features. In addition each student was asked to visually represent these connections by constructing a visual web.
niipinwi neehi teekwaaki (Summer and Fall)
For my circle, I connected kiilhswa to nearly everything. The only two things I did not connect was ciinkwia. Ciinkwia seems to have to no relation to kiilhswa, not even a parallel relation. The reason I connected kiilhswa to all plant animals and trees is because of the importance of kiilhswa to all life on ašiihkiwi. While it is not the sole reason for life on ašiihkiwi, it is obvious kiilhswa plays a major role in facilitating life. In terms of tipehki kiilhswa, I connected the two because of the relationship to the tipehki kiilhswa cycles. The light on tipehki kiilhswa comes directly from kiilhswa and the shadows that give tipehki kiilhswa its ‘shape’ caused by interference of ašiihkiwi to kiilhswa’s light. I connected kiilhswa to aciika and accika alaankwa simply because they are kiilhswa, except far away. Lastly, I connected it to teekwahkahki because of killhswa moving farther south and less heat.
In terms of kiilhswa moving farther south, it’s quite obvious the days become shorter. As to why it gets colder, one could assume that the less time kiilhswa is in the sky, the less time it is heating ašiihkiwi; however, I am not quite sure what would happen if the sun were to move North, beyond the center point. I’m assuming the same would hold true (given all other variables are the same). While kiilhswa does rise and set at a constantly changing and constantly paced point on the horizon, the weather does not respond proportionally. This is perhaps due to another factor such as wind patterns.
An interesting connection to tipehki kiilhswa I did not mention earlier is their equal appearance of size. Although kiilhswa is bigger by a substantial margin, their distance from each other in space gives people on ašiihkiwi the perception they are both the same size. Pretty amazing.
Click here to see the complete web created by all the students as well as the translations for all of the words on the circle.
pipoonwi neehi miloohkami (Winter and Spring)
This spring I’ve noticed that kiilhswa is out for an increasingly longer amount of time. If I go to work in the evening during the weekday, it is always at 8pm and each time I go in for a shift now, it seems earlier in the evening than it used to. Daylight savings time accelerated this shift, but nonetheless it is brighter each time I go in at 8pm.
I’ve also noticed the difference in shadows created by kiilhswa. I generally sit outside in the center of Williams Hall and as kiilhswa comes back from the south and becomes directly overhead, I have more options for sitting under the sun without the building block the light.
The heat from kiilhswa is also much more noticeable now than in January.
I talked with Matt about ahseenamiši and found out that the tree first has a bud (around the time just before spring break), but then takes a long time to finally flower. All the while the path of kiilhswa path is moving farther northward. About two weeks after the budding, the sap from the tree is able to be tapped for maple syrup harvesting. The buds are at the top of the tree (most light from kiilhswa) and Matt explained that the sap moved up the tree and was only tapped as it travelled up the length of the tree towards the buds. We concluded that there is perhaps a sort of energy created by the light from kiilhswa that allows for this process to happen.
I also talked with George about the possible relationship with aciika alaankwa. Interestingly the constellation also follows a seasonal path like kiilhswa. It revolves around the North Star, and it ‘brings back summer’ as it again becomes visible above the horizon (it was absent during winter). Obviously, this is not visible during the daytime as the light from kiilhswa far overpowers that of all aciika.