Comanche

The Comanche /kəˈmæni/ or Nʉmʉnʉʉ (Comanche: Nʉmʉnʉʉ, "the people"[3]) are a Native American tribe from the Southern Plains of the present-day United States. Comanche people today belong to the federally recognized Comanche Nation, headquartered in Lawton, Oklahoma.[1]

Comanche
Nʉmʉnʉʉ
Flag of the Comanche Nation[1]
Total population
17,000[2]
Regions with significant populations
United States (Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico)
Languages
English, Comanche
Religion
Native American Church, Christianity, traditional tribal religion
Related ethnic groups
Shoshone and other Numic peoples

The Comanche language is a Numic language of the Uto-Aztecan family. Originally, it was a Shoshoni dialect, but diverged and became a separate language.[4] The Comanche were once part of the Shoshone people of the Great Basin.[5]

In the 18th and 19th centuries, Comanche lived in most of present-day northwestern Texas and adjacent areas in eastern New Mexico, southeastern Colorado, southwestern Kansas, and western Oklahoma. Spanish colonists and later Mexicans called their historical territory Comanchería.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Comanche practiced a nomadic horse culture and hunted, particularly bison. They traded with neighboring Native American peoples, and Spanish, French, and American colonists and settlers.

As European Americans encroached on their territory, the Comanche waged war on and raided their settlements, as well as those of neighboring Native American tribes.[6] They took captives from other tribes during warfare, using them as slaves, selling them to the Spanish and (later) Mexican settlers, or adopting them into their tribe.[5] Thousands of captives from raids on Spanish, Mexican, and American settlers assimilated into Comanche society.[7] At their peak, the Comanche language was the lingua franca of the Great Plains region.[8]

Decimated by European diseases, warfare, and encroachment by Europeans on Comanchería, most Comanche were forced to live on reservations in Indian Territory by the late 1870s.[5]

In the 21st century, the Comanche Nation has 17,000 members, around 7,000 of whom reside in tribal jurisdictional areas around Lawton, Fort Sill, and the surrounding areas of southwestern Oklahoma.[2] The Comanche Homecoming Annual Dance takes place in mid-July in Walters, Oklahoma.[9]


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