Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Comanche Tribe Seal

The Comanche are a Native American ethnic group whose historic range (the Comancheria) consisted of present-day eastern New Mexico, southern Colorado, northeastern Arizona, southern Kansas, all of Oklahoma, and most of northwest Texas. The Comanches were hunter-gatherers, with a typical Plains Indian culture, including the horse. There may have been as many as 45,000 Comanches in the late 18th century.

One of the southern tribes of the Shoshonean stock, and the only one of that group living entirely on the plains. Their language and traditions show that they are a comparatively recent offshoot from the Shoshoni of Wyoming, both tribes speaking practically the same dialect and, until very recently, keeping up constant and friendly communication. Within the traditionary period the 2 tribes lived adjacent to each other in south Wyoming, since which time the Shoshoni have been beaten back into the mountains by the Sioux and other prairie tribes, while the Comanche have been driven steadily southward by the same pressure. In this southerly migration the Penateka seem to have preceded the rest of the tribe. The Kiowa say that when they themselves moved southward from the Black hills region, the Arkansas was the north boundary of the Comanche.

In 1719 the Comanche are mentioned under their Siouan name of Padouca as living in what now is west Kansas. It must he remembered that from 500 to 800 miles was an ordinary range for a prairie tribe and that the Comanche were equally at home on the Platte and in the Bolson de Mapimi of Chihuahua.

They have been close confederates of the Kiowa since about 1795. As late as 1805 the North Platte was still known as Padouca fork. At that time they roamed over the country about the heads of tile Arkansas, Red, Trinity, and Brazos rivers, in Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. For nearly 2 centuries they were at war with the Spaniards of Mexico and extended their raids far down into Durango. They were friendly to the Americans generally, but became bitter enemies of the Texans, by whom they were dispossessed of their best hunting grounds, and carried on a relentless war against them for nearly 40 years.

In 1835 they made their first treaty with the Government, and by the treaty of Medicine Lodge in 1867 agreed to go on their assigned reservation between Washita and Red rivers, south west Oklahoma; but it was not until after the last outbreak of the southern prairie tribes in 1874-75 that they and their allies, the Kiowa and Apache, finally settled on it. They were probably never a large tribe, although supposed to be populous on account of their wide range.

Within the last 50 years they have been terribly wasted by war and disease. They numbered 1,400 in 1904, attached to the Kiowa agency, Okla.


Today, the Comanche Nation consists of 14,700 members (2010 enrollment figures), about half of whom live in Oklahoma. The remainder are concentrated in Texas, California, and New Mexico. The tribe is headquartered in Lawton, Oklahoma. The Comanche speak the Comanche language, a Numic language of the Uto-Aztecan family, sometimes classified as a Shoshone dialect.

Comanche Chief

Quanah Parker


The birth date of Quanah (Quanna, Quana or Quannah) Parker is uncertain.  It is estimated that he was born between 1850 and 1852 in West Texas.. 


Quanah Parker's mother, Cynthia Ann Parker (born ca. 1827), was a member of the large Parker frontier family that settled in east Texas in the 1830s. She was captured in 1836 (at age nine) by Comanches during the raid of Fort Parker near present-day Groesbeck, Texas. Given the Indian name Nadua (Someone Found), she was adopted into the Nocona band of Comanches.[1]

Assimilated into the Comanche, Cynthia Ann later married the warrior Nocona, (also known as Noconie, Tah-con-ne-ah-pe-ah, or Peta Nocona).  His father was the renowned chief Iron Jacket, famous among the Comanche for wearing a Spanish coat of mail. He was said to have the power to blow bullets away with his breath.
Second Battle of Adobe Walls - 1874

In June 1874, a Comanche prophet named Isa-tai summoned the tribes in the Texas Panhandle to the Second Battle of Adobe Walls, where several American buffalo hunters were active. With Kiowa Chief Big Bow, Quanah was in charge of one group of warriors. He was shot twice in the conflict.[citation needed] In the Battle of Palo Duro Canyon, on September 28, 1874, ManKenzie and his Tonkawa scouts razed a Comanche village and killed nearly 1,500 Comanche horses, a source of their wealth and power.

1875 - Surrender

With their food source depleted, and under constant pressure from the army, the Quahadi Comanche finally surrendered in 1875. With Colonel Mackenzie and Indian Agent James M. Hayworth, Parker helped settle the Comanche on the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Reservation in southwestern Indian Territory.


Parker earned the respect of US governmental leaders as he adapted to the white man’s life and became a prosperous rancher in Oklahoma. His spacious, two-story Star House had a bedroom for each of his seven wives and their children.

Death and Burial
Quanah Parker died on February 23, 1911, and was buried next to his mother, whose body he had reinterred at Ft. Sill Military cemetery on Chiefs Knoll in Oklahoma only three months earlier.
Read more about Quanah Parker here.