Dr. William Meadows

Dr. William MeadowsDr. William Meadows

Foundation Award for Research
College of Humanities and Public Affairs
Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology



Focus of research

My research involved two books and one article. The first book, Kiowa Ethnogeography, examines the linguistic basis, geographical knowledge, and cultural associations of over 400 place names in Kiowa and English from earliest recorded sources to the present. Combining detailed linguistic and cartographic information ranging from the northern Plains into Mexico, this work chronicles the evolution of Kiowa culture while linking geography and political and socio-cultural changes.

The second book, Kiowa Military Societies: Ethnohistory and Ritual examines Kiowa warrior sodalities from the late 1700s to the present. This work addresses the origins and development of ten Kiowa organizations within the larger arena of Native American history and anthropological development, while documenting in detailed fashion the ceremonies, songs, cultural practices of these organizations, and the continued importance of military service in Kiowa and Plains Indian cultures. Also provided are the first extensive accounts of groups such as the Kiowa Black Legs Society and the Kiowa Gourd Dance and their present day national level influences.

The article, “They Had a Chance to Talk to One Another: The Role of Incidence in Native American Code Talking” examines incidence in which Native Americans speaking a shared language were discovered in the military and used to send communications transmission in forms the Germans and Japanese could not break in the World Wars.

Major projects

  • Kiowa Ethnogeography. 2008
  • They Had a Chance to Talk to One Another: The Role of Incidence in Native American Code Talking.” 2009
  • Kiowa Military Societies: Ethnohistory and Ritual. 2010

Future directions of research

I am currently finishing an article on the “Passage of the Code Talker Recognition Act of 2008,” writing an introduction for a book-length set of ethnographic notes on Southern Plains Indians that I am currently editing, and working on a book involving an anthropological examination of the cultural practices associated with Christmas in Japan.

Topics related to research

Native American Cultures, Native American Code Talkers, Native American Veteran’s Issues