Every American child knows the history of the Comanche Indians, but only few know of the bloody battles that happened between whites and Indians. The clarity of this chapter in US history happened by the pen of writer SC Gwynne. He describes the struggle between the two peoples over the domination of a Texas region in his book “Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanche, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History,” by Scribner. Let’s have some curiosities and facts about the Comanche tribe and their culture.
1 Birth of Quanah
Comanche dominated the area of the great plains and campaigns were carried out against the American colonizers. It involved kidnappings and scalps. In 1836, the Indians kidnapped Cynthia Ann Parker in one of these attacks. This nine-year-old white girl eventually became a member of the tribe and raised an Indian son named Quanah, the leader of the most feared Comanche tribe, Quahadi.
2 What does Comanche mean?
The name Comanche in Spanish means “wide road”. Around the 15th century this tribe migrated from the Rocky Mountains to the south of the great prairies. Here they drove out the Apaches and dominated a large area in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
After reaching the prairies they maintained a good relationship with the shoshoni. The Comanche were the most skilled horsemen of the region. They got their first horses in their invasions of the Spaniards and then dedicated themselves to raising them. They extended their looting to the South of Mexico and got the white settlers to remain outside their territories for more than a century.
3 The Lineage of Comanche tribe
The Comanche were an Aztec race of American Indians who terrorized other tribes as well as white settlers and thus created their own empire. They were also called Lords of the Plains. Today, they no longer quarrel with their neighbors, but the approximately 15,000 Comanche living in southwest Oklahoma continue to be proud of their cultural heritage.
4 Life as a Comanche
The Comanche were known for fighting bravely against white rule, but technological innovations and buffalo hunts affected the Indians. This was the main source of food and clothing for them.
5 Life of Quahadi
After years of internal strife, the Quahadis surrendered in 1875 and lived in a reserve. The great warrior Quanah adapted well to his new way of life and had several women and was successful in the branch of cattle raising. He died as the last chief of the Comanche Indians in 1911.
6 The Rise of Quanah Parker
The Texas Rangers paramilitary militia learned to fight the Comanche in small clashes. It was finally the US Army that defeated them by invading their picturesque hideout in 1874. The troops killed only a few Comanche in the surprise attack but captured and killed more than a thousand horses. This left the natives on foot and starving. The leader of the last band to surrender at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, was Quanah. Quanah was the son of a Comanche chief and a white captive named Cynthia Ann Parker. He became known as Quanah Parker.
People took pride in their affiliation with Quanah Parker, who is recognized for his leadership, especially during the difficult transition to life in reservations. Quanah helped his soldiers, agents, political leaders, and people to survive and encouraged them to look to the future.
7 Long lived heritage of Comanche
The Comanche living in southwest Oklahoma continue to be proud of their cultural heritage. For several decades of the nineteenth century, warriors on horseback with prehistoric weapons dominated American lands during the colonization of western Texas and other areas near the southern plains of the country.
8 The present day Comanche
The Comanche no longer make war, but they lead when it is about connecting with their traditions, fables and their colorful past with dances and songs in encounters called Pow Wows.
9 From the mouth of a Comanche
Frank Swift, with his five-year-old son, who attends a pre-kinder Comanche, explains that his son can sing several Comanche hymns. He knows the letters, the words, everything. He knows more than me. Swift lives and works in the modern world, but maintains his identity as an American Indian.
“I’m proud of who we are and our ancestors,” Swift said.
10 The popularity of Comanche as a nation
The Comanche Nation is known today for its hospitality and kindness. Many of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Comanche and allied tribes dominated the rich hunting grounds of the southern plains where bison abounded.
11 The Author’s Prospect of life in Comanche
The advancement of industries crushed the Comanche and other tribes, but not before offering an iron resistance, according to SC Gwynne, author of the Empire of the Moon of Summer, a history of the Comanche.
“They were like nineteenth-century Germany, an important geopolitical force. The Comanche themselves were very busy exterminating and expelling other Indian tribes from those lands for 200 years,” Gwynne said.
12 Spanish invasion of Comancheria
The Spanish attempted to colonize Texas beyond the eastern forested areas, but only reached the limit of Comanchería . After 1821, Mexico became independent and the new government opened Texas to colonizers of the United States.
13 The Treaty of Medicine Lodge
1834 was the year that marked the start of patent hostility between the settlers and the Comanche. In 1867 the treaty of Medicine Lodge was signed between whites and the chiefs of different prairie tribes, including Ten Bears (Comanche chief). The problems still continued. In 1870 the new leaders resorted to negotiation. They finally made peace with the US government in 1875.
14 Comanche- A visual outlook
In 1800 there were probably over 30,000 Comanches but epidemics numbered less than 10,000. They lived in tipis and organized themselves in patrilineal bands that subsisted of the hunting of the bison. They were characterized by their hats in winter, as well as by their impressive headdresses of war. It included a head of bison with its horns. Tattoos were practiced by men and women.
Comanche religion accentuated the visionary experiences of the prairie tribes. Animal spirits favored particular individuals. Like other Indians in the area, the animal world was closely linked to the human.
15 The furious fighters
The tribes in Comanche specialized in attacking caravans and decorated their spears with the victim’s scalp. They went from being a heterogeneous group of hunters and gatherers to becoming great warriors and the first to get tamed Mustang horses. It took them less than a generation to become the best horsemen. they settled in the southwestern US for more than 150 years. Terror prevailed among the tribes of the plains, the Mexican villagers and the border dwellers. They also effectively chased huge buffalo herds throughout the center of the country.