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)
I noticed that my feature is responsible for a lot of the ecological changes in many of the other features. For example; the peesiaanikopa, ahsenaamisi, waawiipinkwaahkatwi, eeyoonsaaweekisa, mihsiinkiweemisi, kiinošiši, mankiišaahkwi, and the aayoonseehaahkwi are all trees. And my ecological feature is teewahkahki, which sped up the process for all of these trees to lose there leaves faster. And from what we have learned in the class this is also when all of the leaves nutrients go into their roots and I believe that teekwahkahki causes this process to speed up. I noticed that teekwahkahki also effects moohswa and aanteekwa. Teekwahkahki seems to give signals to these animals so that they can start their preparation for winter. Aanteekwa would probably start migrating and moohswa start moving around more and mating. I have learned that teekwahkahki is the first signal to everthing that winter is on its way and that the necessary preparations should start being taken. Teekwahkahki can be affected by features such as kiilhswa. When kiilhswa is out for a shorter period of time this creates the teekwahkahki, as it gets colder faster and kiilhswa is also responsible for getting rid of the teekwahkahki during the day. As the tipehki kiilhswa change we are able to tell about what month we are in and what moon it is because frost creates the start of animals moving around and this is how we get the month names, by what is going on in our surroundings. As the temperatures drop, ciinkwia become less prevalent and when the temperature decreases teekwahkahki increases so this has a parallel relationship. Before the class discussion there was a small part of me that didn’t think that we would be able to connect everything to everything, but most of me was thinking that it was possible. As we were discussing I was realizing that there were other ways in which teekwahkahki connected to the other features, other ways in which I didn’t think of. Teekwahkahki is a major indicator that winter is on its way it affects nearly anything and everything.
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)
So far this spring I have discovered a lot about teekwahkahki and the rest of the environment. For example, teekwahkahki symbolized the beginning of winter in the fall and the opposite of that in the spring. However, it’s not the presence of teekwahkahki that marks the beginning of spring, it’s the absence of it. As teekwahkahki began to disappear everything else began to reappear. The birds began to come back, the deer began to come out more, and one of the most obvious was that the sun came up earlier and stays out longer. One more thing that I have noticed, as spring progresses and teekwahkahki has been gone for a while everything is that comes back very rapidly. The buds on the trees start to become more noticeable; the grass becomes greener; squirrels become more numerous; and from there everything else just comes back so fast.
Teekwahkahki can be directly or indirectly related to other shifts in many of the other features in our class. It directly relates to all of the trees and so I shall count all of the trees as one feature because it affects them all in the same way: waawiipinkwaahkatwi (White Oak), eeyoonsaaweekiša (Redbud), mihšiinkweemiši (Burr Oak), aayoonseekaahkwi (Black Walnut), ahsenaamiši (Sugar Maple), kiinošiši (White Walnut), peesiaanikopa (hickory), and mankiišaahkwi (Sassafras). As the first hard frost hits in the fall, this signals to the trees that winter is coming and that is when the leaves begin to change color and they start to lose their leaves. As teekwahkahki is still present this process continues until killhswa comes out earlier and stays out longer. When this happens teekwahkahki starts to disappear and the trees start to begin their awakening process. When teekwahkahki is present life is very scarce until it begins to disappear.
Another feature that is very important to teekwahkahki is kiilhswa. As fall ends killhswa is out for a smaller period of time that it is during the summer. So when this happens it gets colder out and from this comes teekwahkahki, and starts the process in the above paragraph. And as killhswa starts to come back during the spring, teekwahkahki begins to disappear, and the grass and trees come back.
The final feature that teekwahkahki shares a relationship is aanteekwa. This is more of a parallel relationship that these two share. As teekwahkahki begins to arrive aanteekwa starts migrating south for the winter. And as teekwahkahki begins to disappear, aanteekwa starts to come back. However, they come back in a slower manner as to possibly make sure that it is ok to head back.