Plains Native Americans - Comanche Illustration

The Comanche
Native Americans
in Olden Times for Kids

The Comanche did not like life on the reservation. The Comanche wanted to hold on to their culture and traditions. That was hard to do on a reservation. They were not farmers. They were hunters and gatherers.

Before their forced move to a reservation, the Comanche wandered the prairie in small groups called bands. A band was usually made up of family members. The Comanche believed in freedom. You did not have to stay with your own band. You were free to join another band if you wished.

Each band had its own leaders. There was a peace chief and a war chief. The band council included all the men of the band. The council decided when to go to war and where to hunt.

Although bands were free to go their own way, Comanche bands had many things in common. They had a common language. They believed in the same gods. They had the same customs. Depending upon where they lived, they dressed in similar ways. They wore buffalo capes instead of shirts.

The men wore headdresses made of eagle feathers. The number of feathers was symbolic of the number of brave acts they had performed.

The woman wore dresses decorated with fringe and beads. The women braided their hair with beads. They wore bead necklaces. Like the Apache women, Comanche women spent time on their appearance.

The bands got together at annual powwows (gatherings, festivals.) The Comanche sang and danced at powwows to honor their beliefs. People often met their future husbands and wives at powwows.

To learn more about the fabulous Comanche, read the very short story The Clever Coyote by Lin Donn.

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