The Way to Rainy Mountain

by N. Scott Momaday

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What is Rainy Mountain and where is it located?

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Rainy Mountain is a rounded hill situated in modern-day Oklahoma. But it's so much more than that. To the Kiowa people, it's a sacred landmark, an intrinsic part of their tribal heritage. Rainy Mountain symbolizes home, a sense of place that provides the Kiowa with stability and an unbreakable connection to their native soil despite the many upheavals they've endured throughout their long, often troubled history. Just as Rainy Mountain is fully integrated into the natural landscape, so too are the Kiowa; mountain and people alike are at one with their immediate environment.

Originally, the Kiowa migrated to the vicinity of Rainy Mountain from the northern plains. To them, this was their destiny. The Kiowa's successful migration was a great moment in the tribe's history, and this victory against overwhelming odds is ably symbolized by this small, but impressive feature of the southern plains' landscape.

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