Courtesy Juanita Pahdopony
Jaunita Pahdopony, noted artist and Dean of Academic Affairs Emeritus of Comanche Nation College shares some of the things she loves about the Comanche Nation.

10 Things You Need to Know About the Comanche Nation

Brian Daffron

The Numunu are known to most of the world as the Comanche, the Lords of the Plains. Their traditional homeland encompasses the Northern Plains areas of their Shoshone relatives, all the way south past the Rio Grande into present-day Mexico. They lived a life of following the buffalo upon horseback and fought the U.S. Army, buffalo hunters and Texas Rangers in order to preserve that way of life.

The last of the Comanche families to leave the Plains arrived at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1875. The leader who stepped up to lead the Comanche into the reservation and post-reservation period was Quanah Parker, who was equally adept at negotiating deals with Texas cattle barons as he was with conducting Native American Church meetings.

Today, Comanche Nation enrollment equals 15,191, with their tribal complex located near Lawton, Oklahoma within the original reservation boundaries that they share with the Kiowa and Apache in Southwest Oklahoma. Their global contributions include serving as Code Talkers in World War II, using their language in the Allied invasion of Normandy against the Nazis.

Indian Country Today Media Network asked Juanita Pahdopony, a noted artist and Dean of Academic Affairs Emeritus of Comanche Nation College, to share what she knew about the Comanche that other people may not know. “These are some of the things that I've loved about the Comanche,” she said.

Our ancestors reflected on the future and thought of the ones “we'd never see.”Going ot the Spirit World by Tim Tate Nevaquaya (Brian Daffron)

Pahdopony refers to the Comanche as “long range planners.” Within today’s Comanche Nation, there are tribal services that start with the youngest—Comanche Nation Daycare—to the eldest, with the newly created Edith Kassanavoid Gordon Assisted Living Center. Other Comanche programs include reintegration, language classes, youth programs and health initiatives.

Comanche valued modesty: When warriors went into battle, they went in pairs because one could return and report for one who may not. A warrior never “bragged” on his or her own brave deeds.

The most common greeting in the Comanche language is Marauwe—“Report.” This goes back to those times of warriors coming back from somewhere and reporting what they observed.


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