Friday, November 8, 2013

Honoring Quanah Parker - Comanche

Honoring Quanah Parker - Comanche
Ca. 1845 or 1852 – February 23, 1911

"How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right" --Quanah Parker

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Extraordinary Quanah Parker was a Comanche chief, a leader in the Native American Church, and the last leader of the powerful Quahadi band before they surrendered their battle of the Great Plains and went to a reservation in Indian Territory.

He was the son of Comanche chief Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, a European American, who had been kidnapped at the age of nine and assimilated into the tribe.

Quanah Parker also led his people on the reservation, where he became a wealthy rancher and influential in Comanche and European American society. With seven wives and 25 children, Quanah had numerous descendants. Many people in Texas and Oklahoma claim him as an ancestor.

Although praised by many in his tribe as a preserver of their culture, Quanah also experienced Comanche critics. Some rumors claim that he "sold out to the white man" by adapting and becoming a rancher.

He dressed and lived in what some viewed as a more European-American than Comanche style. Quanah did adopt some European-American ways, but he always wore his hair long and in braids. He also refused to follow US marriage laws and had up to five wives at one time.

Quanah was never elected principal chief of the tribe by the people. Traditionally, the Comanche had no single chief. The various bands of the Comanche had their own chiefs.

The US appointed Quanah principal chief of the entire nation once the people had gathered on the reservation and later introduced general elections.

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