Los comanches en la frontera norte de la Nueva España, 1700-1821: Using Comanche Sources to Illuminate the Spanish Catalyst in Comanche Ethnohistory

UNCP Author/Contributor (non-UNCP co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Richard W. Varner II (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP )
Web Site: http://www.uncp.edu/academics/library
Christopher Woolley

Abstract: Beginning in the seventeenth century, the loosely unified collection of bands commonly known as the Comanche, migrated out of present-day Wyoming and on to the Great Plains. Upon acquiring the horse, the Comanche pushed into northern New Mexico in 1706 and into Texas in 1743 and proved to be both a military match for, and at times, a necessary ally, with the Spanish. However, the Comanche people and their unique cultural and historical perspective have been marginalized in the broader “Borderlands” historical narrative and have not been utilized as a valuable historical source base. This essay focuses on Comanche-Spanish relations and argues that the Spanish encroachment into lands in present-day Texas and New Mexico not only served as a catalyst for the newly developing Comanche culture, but shaped Comanche history, language, and historical interactions between the Comanche and other groups in the region. Though unlike traditional arguments made by historians, this essay analyzes the Comanche-Spanish relationship from an ethnohistorical perspective using Comanche oral histories and living culture to either corroborate, refute, or shed new light on contemporary historical understandings.

Additional Information

Honors Project
Language: English
Date: 2020
Comanche, Native Americans, Migration, Borderlands, Comanche-Spanish, Ethnohistory ,

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