Before the European settlers became present west of the Mississippi River around 1680, the Comanches began to become a unique group in the Plains region. It is believed that they broke away from the Shoshone around this time when horses were introduced by the Pueblo peoples. The horse gave a greater mobility and allowed migration in a faster manner.

It is believed that the Comanches were the first of the Plains peoples to fully incorporate the horse into their culture and probably introduced the animal to the other plains tribal traditions. They became well known for trading horses to the French and Americans. Many of the horses were stolen from other tribes or came from the 2,000,000 feral horses at their disposal.

Have you heard of the “Comanche Moon”? This phrase became popular because the Comanche liked to perform their raids during a full moon. The light of the moon would aide them in their plans.

Comanche and Arapaho Leaders Holding a Council of War About White Encroachment on their Land, 1800s

Comanche and Arapaho

Comanche Print at Allposters

It has been reported that the Comanches were known to have been at war which just about every other tribal tradition on the great plains. They were fierce fighters and at one time it is believed they numbered around 40,000.

This remarkable group of people were able to keep their independence and actually increase their territory when other Nations were falling to the influx of the white settlers. That is until around the mid 1800s when disease from the European  settlers began to diminish their numbers. Smallpox and measles were diseases that they had no immunity for.

The last free band of Comanche, led by Quanah Parker, surrendered and was taken to the Ft Sill reservation in 1875.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x