I am going to start a series of posts about The Comanche people. Some sites I like will go here. This link to this site has some amazing pictures and I really liked it. This is a famous photograph of Ten Bears, A Comanche War Chief. He was an amazing man and a great orator. Enjoy the links!
"Also known as Ten Elks, Paria Semen (also Paeea-wa-semen, Pariaseamen, Parooway Semehno, Parrywasaymen or Parywahsaymen) was an eloquent poetic speaker and adroit negotiator who effectively represented his Comanche followers. Although he was apparently never active as a great warrior, he was still held in high esteem by the tribe, who choose him to be their delegate at many peace conferences with the Whites. His early years were seemingly uneventful; he was born about 1792 on the Southwestern Plain and by middle age had come to be a leading speaker for the Comanche.
He visited Washington D.C. in 1863, but failed to win significant concessions from the authorities. He signed the 1865 treaty at the Little Arkansas River and two years later was present as a speaker at the Council at Medicine Lodge, Kansas, which resulted in a treaty whereby the Comanche agreed to go on a recently established reservation in the southwestern section of the Indian Territory.
Though he was always a peacemaker, Ten Bears was equally determined as a Native American patriot who resented the White man's intrusion. During a long and eloquent address at the Medicine Lodge conference, he stated, "You said you wanted to out us upon a reservation…I was born upon the prairie, where the wind blew free and there was nothing to break the light of the sun. I was born where there were no enclosures and where everything drew a free breath…I want to die there, and not within walls."
But the Whites were not there to negotiate; they were there to dictate. Previous treaties had "not made allowance for the rapid growth of the White race," and the Comanche, Kiowa and other tribes of the Central Plains were forced to sign a treaty whereby they gave up most of their lands in exchange for a reservation. The days of free hunting were over and the tribes were expected to become peaceful farmers.
Ten Bears set off on another futile journey to Washington D.C., with other leaders from the Southern Plains, always hoping that this time it would be different, that the White man would honor his promises, but it was not to be. He returned to the hated reservation, where he died at Fort Sill a few weeks later, in 1873."
Please visit this very informative page! There is so much more!
AUTHOR: Written by Ten Bears before his death, now the epitaph on his tombstone
My soul is an old one. I can feel the heat of the sun baking my face brown, drying it into furrows; the sun-squint of ages that nearly engulfs the eyes, leaving glittering dark slits from which deltas run in times of sorrow and joy. I have seen much- civilization raised from the dust of dancing feet and brought to ruin again by the flow of blood and emotion.
The wind blows in my ears like mother's warm breath in baby's tiny shell ear, sighs and moans bespeaking the passage of time and dreams. I have struggled with the soil, toiled to draw living things from beneath its implacable face, green and growing things celebrating life in the sunshine of a million summers.
Fall harvests whisper of winter to come, more sweat and tears invested in the earth to ensure a tomorrow where hope may take root and grow. Mother Earth, I sprang from your loins with a heart singing of the glory of life! It has not been easy...it has not been easy.
Still I rise and face the sun, stretching its pale arms above the amethyst mountains, listen with joy to the songs of a thousand birds waking, and almost, just almost, I can hear the celestial symphony that stirs the dawn to life from its magical slumber.
I paint the canvas of each new day with the colors of my soul, vivid splashes, my personal palette spreading across the hours, changing in the light and shadow as day ages. Oh glorious sunset! Oh mystical twilight! My colors are muted and washed in the dying light of day. I rest and rock in the soothing rhythm of approaching night.
I reach my arms up to the stars, embrace the night like a brother who watches over me. The cool kiss of his lips touches my cheek. I turn my face up to the blue-black sky and breathe in the stars like cold water for a thirsty soul. I wrap the darkness around me like a blanket and let dreams come to lead me away.
I dance in the dry dirt, my feet raising little clouds of dust that swirl and spin like little spirits around my ankles. I leave the echo of my footsteps in the earth so that my daughter may listen one day, and know me. I sing with the voice of my ancestors, weaving my own song into theirs so that the wind may carry it to her ear one day.
She will know me like a familiar piece of music when she hears me... when she pauses in the toil of her every day life and turns her ear into the wind, I will be there speaking to her. I leave her my legacy laced to those of my mother and her mother and her mother's mother like a plaited banner of many colors billowing in the breeze of the passage of time. And where my bones lie to rest I hope to feel the beat of her feet dancing, catch the sound of her voice singing.
My soul is an old one. I have been here many times. I have not grown weary of the struggle. I have not grown disenchanted with the vivid promising hues of each passing day. I can still stand atop the mountain, my face to the sun and feel the heat and weight of it upon my shoulders. It is the weight of time.
I can still spill ribbons of color from my hands into the earth. I can still sing, though now in a voice evocative of time and ancient souls. I can still move my feet though my bones creak counterpoint to the beat. I have pressed myself upon my mother's glorious face like a kiss and my memory will linger long. I am not afraid of the night. We are old friends.
I will look upon the earth until my eyes close one final time and I will revel in what I see. It is my heritage, my legacy, my gift to my daughter, this earth. I pray she will respect it. Everyone as you celebrate the season of Rebirth- paint the days with your own colors, sing your own songs, dance your own dances and leave your own legacies for future generations.
Why are you here where my bones lie? Go to where my spirit is. It is there you will be happiest.