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9/13/2004

Wind People

The south wind has steadily blown over the Kansas terrain for the past few days. Temperatures rising into the upper 90’s are less noticeable making for fairly comfortable days outside. But, the constant wind can sometimes be a little unsettling if you aren’t a Kansan. Even Kansans have varying tolerances to the wind. From east to west the constancy of the wind increases with western Kansans being the most wind hardened people in the state.  
The people for which our state is named were recognized for their close relationship with the wind even being named Kansa, pronounced K- ahn- za. The name of the tribe was often shortened to Kaw. The Wind People or People of the South Wind recognized a spirit in the “breath of life” that flowed over the land. All native people offered ceremonial reverence to the four winds. The wind could bring life-giving rains or it could blow mercilessly dry air withering everything in sight. The lives of the Kansa ebbed and flowed with the wind as a matter of course.  
Modern Kansans go about their daily lives often little noting the wind because it is so commonplace in this land, and yet, perhaps more than anything else it is our relationship with the wind that defines us to those looking on from the outside. Perhaps the Kansa were right. There is a spirit in the wind and it confirms itself in the very mindset of its people, Kansans, the Wind People. 
So Long, 
The Cowboy 

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