Tuesday, March 07, 2017
The Comanche male was thus gloriously, astoundingly free. He was subject to no church, no organized religion, no priest class, no military societies, no state, no police, no public law, no domineering clans or powerful families, no strict rules of personal behavior, nothing telling him he could not leave his band and join another one, nothing even telling him he could not abscond with his friend's wife, though he certainly would end up paying somewhere between one and ten horses for that indulgence, assuming he was caught. He was free to organize his own military raids; free to come and go as he pleased.
Some observations on Comanche naming practices, from the same book, the first on p. 92:
Buffalo Hump had one of those Comanche names—there were a large number of them—that the prudish whites could not quite bring themselves to translate. His Nermernuh name, properly transliterated, was Po-cha-na-quar-hip, which meant "erection that won't go down."Id., p. 104:
She [the captive Bianca "Banc" Babb] lost control of her bowels while on the back of the horse, and thus acquired her unfortunate Indian name: “Smells Bad When You Walk."
On books used as protection against gunshots (id., p. 175, with endnote on p. 333):
According to [Charles] Goodnight, Comanche shields, made of two layers of the toughest rawhide from the neck of a buffalo and hardened in fire, were almost invulnerable to bullets when stuffed with paper. When Comanches robbed houses, they invariably took all the books they could find.8The references are to the following:
8 Marshall Doyle, A Cry Unheard, p. 35; see also Haley, p. 53.
- Doyle Marshall, A Cry Unheard: The Story of Indian Attacks In and Around Parker County, Texas, 1858-1872 (Aledo: Annetta Valley Farm Press, 1990)
- J. Evetts Haley, Charles Goodnight: Cowman and Plainsman (1936; rpt. Norman: Universiy of Oklahoma Press, 1949)
saved by his mess-kit in this way.