Comanche Indian Tribe

The Comanches were of the Shoshonean linguistic stock. They formerly dwelt with kindred tribes in Southern Wyoming. They were driven south by the Sioux and other tribes with whom they warred. In the early history of the plains they were known as Paduca, the name given them by the Sioux. They lived at one time on the North Platte, which was known as the Paduca Fork as late as 1805. They were said to have roamed from that stream to Bolson de Mapimi, in Chihuahua. They were the finest horsemen that rode the Great Plains, and as buffalo hunters none excelled them. To the Americans they were usually friendly, but they were at war with the Mexican Spaniards for more than two hundred years.

The clan system had ceased to exist in the Comanches. They may, in fact, never have had it. The tribe is separated into divisions or bands, as follows:

1. Detsanayuka, or Nokoni.
2. Ditsakana, Widyu, Yapa, or Yamparika.
3. Kewatsana.
4. Kotsai.
5. Kotsoteka.
6. Kwahari, or Kawhadi.
7. Motsai.
8. Pagatsu.
9. Penateka, or Penande.
10. Pohoi.
11. Tenima.
12. Tenawa, or Tenahwit.

On the 18th of October, 1865, at a camp on the Little Arkansas River, in Kansas, the Comanches and Kiowas made a treaty with the United States, by which they ceded all their lands lying in Kansas, and other lands. The tract in Kansas was that part of the State south of the Arkansas River immediately west of the Osage lands. The line between the lands of the Osages and the Comanches and Kiowas ran from a point on the Arkansas River about six miles west of Dodge City south to the state-line.

The cession of the Comanches and Kiowas divested the original Indian owners of the last acre of land they owned in Kansas. Much of this land was given by the Government to other Indians. These were known as the Emigrant Indian Tribes. They were moved to Kansas by the United States as title to their lands were extinguished in the states east of the Mississippi. Most of the Emigrant tribes were given land in Kansas in exchange for their lands further east which the white man required for settlement as he increased his numbers in his westward conquest and occupation of American soil.

One of the reasons entertained by Jefferson for the purchase of Louisiana was that it would afford land for the Indian tribes east of the Mississippi. The English could never sit down and live in a country with people of another nationality. They exterminated and drove out the Gaelic tribes of Britain. They desired an exclusive possession of the land. That was their policy in America. It was continued by the United States.1

In the report of Lewis and Clark, 1806, to Jefferson, this policy is mentioned in discussing the lands of the Osages. The report says: "I think two villages, on the Osage River, might be prevailed on to remove to the Arkansas, and the Kansas, higher up the Missouri, and thus leave a sufficient scope of country for the Shawnee, Dillewars, Miames, and Kickapoos."

Some of the Delawares and Shawnees had crossed the Mississippi in 1793, at the invitation of the Spanish Government of Louisiana, and had been assigned a reservation at Cape Girardeau.

Additional Comanche History

Footnote

1. This subject is well treated in the History of Baptist Indian Missions, by Isaac McCoy, pp. 30 to 41.

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