(Numunuu "The People")


Geographical region : Plains and Prairie ( northern Texas )

Lived normally in Plains Tipi

Language : Uto-aztec


Comanche Camp


The Comanche are descendants of the Shoshone and one of the numanic speaking tribes.

They separated from the Shoshone and migrated southward in the late 1600s, appearing in New Mexico around 1705.

Linguistic, they are related to the Shoshone, Ute and Paiute.

The name Comanche comes from the spanish "camino ancho" which means "wide path".

Originally they lived in the Rocky Mountains close to the Shoshone, but for the buffalo hunt they traveled to the plains.

From now on they became typical plains indians, but still had good relatioships to the Shoshone.

The Comanche were excellent horsemen and inveterate raiders.

Their hunting area did extend from the Platte River up to the texican peninsula in the Golf of Mexico.

In the middle of the 18th Century they formed an alliance with the Caddo and Kiowa.

Around 1815 they started to trade with white settlers.

They were extremely warlike and effectively prevented white settlers from passing safely through their territory for more than a century.

They are said to have killed more whites in proportion to their own numbers than any other Native American group.

Under the leadership of Ishacoly and Tabequeva they first happened to meet the US troops under Henry Dodge in the year 1834.

The first treaty (contract) with the USA was signed in 1835 on the Canadian River.

The annexation of Texas and the goldrush in California in the 1850th brought many Whites to their hunting grounds. The ongoing pressure caused my more and more settles coming into their terretory and the war against the Osage caused incidents : in 1859 parts of the tribe were moved to the Washita (Oklahoma) under the protection of the US Government.

During the civil war the Comanche signed contracts with both sides. An attack against travellers on the Santa Fe trail caused an punitive expedition of the US Army under Christopher "Kit" Carson. But the Comanche remained the winners.

The fighting went on until 1867 where the Comanche, undefeated until this time, signed the Medicine Lodge Creek treaty about the allocation of a very great reservation in the Indian-Terretory.

The dramatic reduction of the buffalo (caused by white hunters who shot them just for fun or only to get the horn or the hide) led in 1875 to the end of the martial conflicts.

During this time Quannah Parker got famouse as a chief. He was born in 1845 as a son of Nokoni, Leader of the Kwahadi-tribe, and Cynthia Ann Parker, a white woman who was kidnapped as a child and lived among this tribe.

Quannah Parker was of high reputation as a warrior and chief of the Kwahadi.

The Kwahadi-tribe never had signed a contract or treaty with the US Government.

After the Red-River-War he became chief of all Comanche tribes.

Under his leadership the tribe took over elements of the white man's culture.

As a deligate he made many travels to Washington D.C.

As well he was one of three judges at the US Court, responsible for indian complaints.

He died in 1911 in Cache, Oklahoma.

In 1906 the Comanche Reservation was the last one of all indian reservations that was opened for white settlers.

In 1898 there lived 1533 Comanche in this area. In 1910 only 1476. In 1924 there lived 1718 and in 1950 about 2700 Comanche in the Reservation of Oklahoma. In the year 1985 about 3642 tribe members were registered with the Anadarko-Authority.


Additional Information :

The Comanches were rulers of the Great Plains in the 18th century and became known as the Lords of the Southern Plains.

Renowned for their horsemanship, they defended their land from all intruders.

Men from spain and other europeans were their first outside contact, but that changed by the 1830s when white men pushed westward towards a new frontier.

Comanche tribal government was a true democratic process, with organized bands, led by Band Chiefs, coming together as needed to discuss important issues.

At one time there may have been as many as thirty five Bands, but during the nineteenth century there were five outstanding bands identified.

They were the Penatuka, Yapaituka, Noyuka, Kwaharu and Kuutsutuka.

From the first day when white men pushed westward towards a new frontier in the 1830s, many events occurred that altered the way of life for this great tribe.

The Treaty of Medicine Lodge signed in 1867 (between the whites and the tribes of the Comanche, Kiowa, Apache, Cheyenne and Arapaho).

The Battle of Adobe Walls in 1874 where Comanches, Kiowas and Cheyennes attacked the hunters using the fort to hide while on their quest to kill the buffalo, the Jerome Agreement in 1892at Fort Sill between the US and the Kiowa, Comanche and The Apache tribes and the Oklahoma land openings were but a few of these events.

The Comanche Tribe now numbers almost 10,000 persons, with approximately 6,000 of them residing in this area of Southwest Oklahoma.

The Comanches have not been "reservation" Indians since 1901.




Hanitaibo - Corn People

Kuhtsutuuka - Buffalo Eaters Band

Kwaharu - Antelope Eaters Band

Kwahihuu ki - Back Shade Comanche Band

Kwaru / Kwaru Nuu -- Loud Speaking People Band

Nokoni / nokoninuu - "They Travel Around"

Noyuhkanuu / Noyukanuu - Wanderers Band

Ohnonuu / Ohnononuu / Onahununuu - Comanche Clan from Cyril area

Parukaa / Padouka - name given the Comanches by the Sioux people

Komantcia - "enemy" or "anyone who wants to fight me all the time" by the Ute people

Pekwi Tuhka - Fish Eaters Band

Penatuka / Penanuu / Pihnaatuka / Penatuka Nuu - Honey Eaters Band, also known as Quick Striking

Pikaatamu - Buckskin Sewing Band

Saria Tuhka / Sata Teichas - Dog Eaters Band

Taninuu - Liver Eaters Band living south of the Peace River in Texas

Tutsanoo Yehku - Comanche Band

Wianu / Wianuu - Comanche Band from the Walters OK. area

Yaparuhka / Yapai Nuu / Yapainuu / Yapuruhka - Root Eaters Band


* Numunuu - Comanche People (plural)

* Numu - Comanche Person (singular)