Comanche Indians

Learn about the history of the Comanche Indians

The Comanche Indians are a group of Native Americans who traditionally refer to themselves Numunuh. This can be translated to mean "The People". They were nomads and known as fierce warriors, having had command of a large area of land at one time. The Comanche group formed relatively recently in history, when they broke away from the Shoshone people around the year 1700.

The Comanche lived in the Southern Plains, or what is now known as Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, Texas, and New Mexico. The majority of those who remain now live in Oklahoma. There are currently about 14,000 people who are official members of the Comanche Nation. It is impossible to determine how many Comanche Indians there were before Europeans arrived to the area. It has been estimated that there were up to 45,000 individuals in the 1700s.

Like most groups of Native Americans and indigenous peoples, the Comanche traditionally had separate gender roles for males and females in daily life. The men were responsible for hunting to provide meat for the tribe. Their other main duty was fighting and being brave warriors. Women were in charge of setting up camps, cooking, and gathering food. They were also the primary caregivers of children. The Comanche had a unique view of parenting. Children were seen as gifts to their parents, who rarely disciplined their kids as a result. Instead, punishment for any wrongdoing was carried out by other family members or a "boogey man."

The social hierarchy in tribes included small groups of leaders, which were councils who helped make decisions and advise the people. Each tribe generally had an elder who was trusted and respected for his experience. He was called the "peace chief." During war times, a brave fighter was also chosen to be a "war chief." There was not a single ruler who made decisions, though.

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