Kokomo’s praying mantis has quite the Facebook following (2024)

She’s just a mantis. Standing in front of a town. Asking it to love her.

That’s what Kokomo’s newly installed, 17-foot-tall praying mantis sculpture posted recently on her Facebook page.

Some people in town just can’t bring themselves to love her, though.

The mantis has been called “freaky,” “weird,” “hideous” and “creepy” by posters on Facebook.

More than one person has said they don’t understand why KokoMantis is here. They said she doesn’t belong.

KokoMantis had a message for them.

“To those who are confused about or opposed to my being here, I would say that I wish they felt differently, but mainly, I want them to know that no matter how they feel about me, I am extremely happy that THEY are here,” KokoMantis said recently through Facebook. “They’re awesome, and their voice is important. Also, I have no idea why I’m here either.”

She was erected at the corner of Sycamore and Washington streets on Oct. 5.

According to the Kokomo-Howard County Arts League, she is 17 feet tall, 22 feet long from nose to tail and 6 feet wide.

She is artwork made from re-purposed metal. Her torso and wings are made from World War II fuel pontoons, and her legs are made from stop light arms, the arts league posted on Facebook.

Developer Scott Pitcher came up with the idea for the mantis, but he said it was a public art project funded by private donations.

Pitcher approached metal fabricator Scott Little about the project two years ago.

“I thought it was crazy,” Little said of the idea.

But he agreed to bring the giant bug to fruition, just as he had the spider that sits a few blocks away from KokoMantis.

Little said he spent about 220 hours perfecting the details of the mantis.

Then, when the sculpture was pieced together at its new home, it took on a life of its own, quite literally.

A week after the mantis popped up on Pitcher’s property, a KokoMantis page popped up on Facebook.

The insect makes about a dozen posts a day on her page, covering everything from her body and family to entertainment and philosophy.

On Oct. 19 she posted, “Someone told me today I have ‘WAY too much time on [my] hands.’ I just stared at her for a while and let it sink in that I have no hands. SHAMED!!”

In just a few weeks, she managed to gather 1,151 followers on Facebook.

Some post pictures they take of the sculpture or photos of other praying mantes that show up at their homes.

Others just visit the page to compliment KokoMantis.

One person posted, “I’m glad you’re here. I wish all of the negative people would just take a minute and think about what your arrival in Kokomo means for us as a city. You have created a point of interest for downtown and are a nice reflection of the diversity of our city. My hope is that we all embrace you and like you as much as we do other landmarks like the tank in the park across the street from you or the free trolley. Peace.”

Some aren’t quite as kind.

One woman posted a comment that said KokoMantis is “stupid looking” and should be an advertisem*nt for a bug control company. She called the sculpture a total waste of money.

KokoMantis responded with, “Sorry you think I’m stupid looking. I guess I’m lucky looks don’t really matter that much in this world. But I really think you’re pretty great.”

Inquiring minds want to know who the voice behind the mantis is.

But she prefers to remain anonymous. At least for now.

She did say that she is a writer who lives out of state but grew up in Kokomo.

No one asked her to create the character. She said she decided for herself it was something she wanted to do.

She said she suddenly started seeing a lot of mostly negative comments on Facebook about some mantis in Kokomo, her hometown.

After a friend sent her a photo of the sculpture, she quickly fell in love with the weirdness of it, she said. And the idea of creating a character for the sculpture just came to her.

“I was interested to see if it was possible to turn this stream of negativity I was seeing into something a bit more positive,” the mystery woman said in an email. “I deeply, deeply love my hometown of Kokomo. I have been looking for opportunities to be a part of the community for the past year or so. ... This was a chance for me to feel like an active part of the community even from a distance.”

The woman said she’s created a character that’s silly and kind and doesn’t take life too seriously.

KokoMantis is even running an anti-bullying campaign.

The mantis said the coolest thing she’s seen since she moved to her corner in downtown Kokomo was a girl treating her bully with kindness.

“One time I saw a girl getting picked on,” KokoMantis said during a Facebook interview. “Then not even a minute later she was helping her bully up after she fell and skinned her knee. That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. If that girl’s reading this: You just keep doing you, girl. You’re changing the world.”

KokoMantis loves the people of Kokomo. She said they are loyal, passionate, funny and creative.

Some may not like her, and they have given her a hard time about it, she said. But for the most part, her move to Kokomo has been great, the mantis said.

“I have felt very much welcomed to the city,” KokoMantis said via Facebook. “I won’t pretend it wasn’t difficult at first. I’m different. I’m a challenge to the norm. Being afraid of that is a natural reaction. But it was clear pretty quickly that I have a LOT of friends.”

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Now, let's discuss the concepts mentioned in this article.

Public Speaking:

Public speaking is the act of delivering a speech or presentation to an audience. It involves conveying information, persuading or entertaining the audience through words, physical delivery, and visual or audio aids . Public speaking can be used to inform, inspire, motivate, or educate the audience. It is an essential skill in various fields, including business, education, politics, and entertainment.

Informative Speaking:

Informative speaking is a type of speech that aims to convey knowledge to the audience. It involves presenting information in a clear and organized manner, helping the audience understand a particular topic or subject. Informative speeches can cover a wide range of topics, from explaining a concept to providing instructions or describing a historical event.

Speech Delivery Methods:

There are different methods of delivering a speech, depending on the context and purpose. Some common speech delivery methods include:

  1. Manuscript Delivery: This method involves reading the speech from a prepared manuscript. It is useful when the exact wording of the speech is crucial, such as when delivering public statements or formal speeches. However, it can hinder eye contact and audience engagement .

  2. Memorized Delivery: In this method, the speaker memorizes the entire speech and delivers it without referring to any notes. It requires extensive rehearsal and can be effective for short speeches or performances.

  3. Impromptu Delivery: Impromptu delivery involves speaking without prior preparation or planning. It requires quick thinking and the ability to articulate thoughts on the spot. This method is often used in situations where immediate responses are required, such as Q&A sessions or spontaneous speeches.

  4. Extemporaneous Delivery: Extemporaneous delivery is a combination of preparedness and spontaneity. The speaker prepares an outline or notes and delivers the speech using those prompts. It allows for flexibility and adaptability while maintaining a structured presentation.

Introduction and Conclusion in Speeches:

An effective speech usually includes a well-crafted introduction and conclusion. The introduction serves to capture the audience's attention, establish rapport, and provide an overview of the speech's content. It often includes attention-grabbing techniques, such as anecdotes, quotes, or rhetorical questions. The conclusion, on the other hand, wraps up the presentation by summarizing the main points and leaving the audience with a memorable closing statement. It may also include a call to action or a final thought that reinforces the speech's key message .

Engaging the Audience:

Engaging the audience is crucial in public speaking. It helps maintain their interest and ensures effective communication. Some strategies for engaging the audience include:

  1. Relating to the Audience: Understanding the audience's background, interests, and knowledge level can help tailor the speech to their needs and make it more relatable .

  2. Using Visual and Audio Aids: Incorporating visual aids, such as slides or props, can enhance understanding and engagement. Audio aids, such as videos or sound clips, can also add variety and impact to the speech.

  3. Interacting with the Audience: Encouraging audience participation through questions, polls, or interactive activities can make the speech more interactive and engaging.

  4. Telling Stories or Using Examples: Sharing personal stories, anecdotes, or real-life examples can captivate the audience's attention and make the content more relatable and memorable.

Remember, these are just some of the key concepts related to public speaking and speech delivery. If you have any specific questions or would like to explore any of these topics further, feel free to ask!

Kokomo’s praying mantis has quite the Facebook following (2024)


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