Comanche Facts Page

The Environment:

Physical environment: They lived in north west Texas. This is a huge region. It is larger than most states and almost the size of Texas. It is known as the Southern Plains. Most of the land here is rolling to flat grasslands. But there are other land forms such as Palo Duro Canyon and the Arbuckle Mountains in Oklahoma. One large part of this region is the Llano Estacado. That is pronounced Yano-esta-cado. The Llano Estacado is a highland prairie of almost endless gently rolling grasslands. Southwestern parts of this land are very arid with little rainfall. Other eastern parts have more rain and vegetation. All the grass supported huge herds of buffalo. The Comanche hunted these buffalo as a primary source of food. They hunted and gathered because this is the best way to get food on the plains. Large herds of buffalo and elk are easy to hunt. This is an easier way to get food than farming on the plains. Prior to the horse many plains cultures did farm along the rivers. Chasing buffalo on foot was not practical. The Arikara and Mandan Plains Indians still farmed after the horse arrived.

Cultural Environment: Nomads need portable shelter so they have tee-pees. Pottery is heavy and easily broken when moving so they did not use much pottery. They used leather for containers along with baskets. They used packs on dogs and travois to carry their things. See the horse page for lots more on this and pictures of travoises. Because they hunted and were at war so much they had very good weapons such as bows and arrows and lances. Because they hunted and fought so much on horseback their weapons were made for this kind of use. Their bows were short and powerful. Lances are like spears. They had small round shields that were light and easy to use on a horse.

Social Environment: The Comanche raided just about everyone around them and stole goods, horses and kidnapped children and women. So they were enemies with just about everyone around them. They became friends with the Kiowa and occasionally made allies with other plains tribes.

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