Comanche Tribe Fact

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Comanche Captors: Fact or Ford’s Fiction? Located in the southern region of the Great Plains, the Comanche conglomerate occupied a formidable existence. They hunted buffalo, resided in in “tepees”, and experienced a tumultuous relationship with white settlers (“The Comanches”). However, much like how the Comanche tribe eventually were forced to surrender their land, they have been forced to surrender to stereotypes formed around their culture. The primary propagator of these generalizations appears to be the film industry, with John Ford leading the movement. While Ford’s films bear many inaccuracies, there is documentation that corroborates his portrayal of the Comanche included some unsavory truths. For starters, Ford’s aim in his films…show more content…
In fact, kidnappings were so prevalent that the capturing of outsiders became labeled as “an aboriginal Comanche practice.” (Rivaya-Martinez 45) While this Comanche custom appears to be inherently malicious, it was largely a response to injustices inflicted against the tribe. In particular, researchers suggest that primary motivation behind taking captives was an attempt to “replace dead kinsfolk.” (Rivaya-Martinez 46) “Never a large group despite their wide range, their numbers were greatly reduced by warfare” with the majority of deceased Comanche perishing as a result of conflicts with both American forces, notably the Texas Rangers, and other Native American powers (“Comanche”). “To the Comanches, the greatest age was the time spent as a warrior”, however unfortunately for most Comanches, this warrior period did not last long (“The Comanches”). In fact, Comanche casualties were so common, that “it was reportedly very rare for a Comanche to reach old age.” (Rivaya-Martinez 49) Consequently, another motive driving Comanche kidnapping was the need to replenish their warrior efforts in an endeavor to “augment the military strength.” (Rivaya-Martinez 46) As a result, “more than 70% of the children captured were boys” because male warriors compromised the primary faction that perished within the Comanche community (Rivaya-Martinez…show more content…
Specifically, while the Comanche were still “equestrian nomads”, the gender of preference for captives was male, because of the warrior element (Rivaya-Martinez 45). However, when the Native Americans were moved to reservations, the preference dramatically veered in the female direction. The most notable captivity case being that of “Cynthia Ann Parker, the daughter of early Texas settlers”, however she was far from alone (“The Comanche”). Specifically, there was such an influx of captives that were girls, that the Comanche were able to embrace their interest in “polygynous” relationships (Rivaya-Martinez 47). Comanche men proceeded to accumulate as many wives as they desired, often as many as six, with the majority being captives (Rivaya-Martinez 48). Concisely stated by New Mexico Governor Velez Cachupin, the “Comanche instinct was to have an abundance of women to generate as much offspring as possible, stealing them from other nations in order to increase their own (Rivaya-Martinez 48). Furthermore, the existences that these women endured were far from pleasant. While boys taken for warrior purposes could be adopted by the tribe, women were generally treated with “brusqueness and surliness as if they were some slaves.” (Rivaya-Martinez 48) This circumstance of slavery indicates that, in some cases, Comanche captivity could cause a corrosive psychological effect and an overall unhappy existence,
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