My Comancheria Institute is an educational nonprofit that documents and preserves the various native and immigrant cultures and histories intertwined in historic Comancheria.
We inform, engage, and mobilize all ages to take actions, raise funds, and participate in events and curricula that celebrate and communicate these cultures everywhere.
We are establishing local and regional My Comancheria chapters and conducting events for all age levels to communicate and embrace the shared past through books, films, podcasts, oral history videos, media-saturating stories, presentations, websites, and age-level curricula in print and online.
Local chapters meet regularly -- weekly or monthly -- with scheduled programs for study and discussion. My Comancheria speaker's bureau provides subject specialists, academics, and independent scholars for presentations and discussions. Chapters will also sponsor local art and writing classes and contests for children and youth.
Acquisition of the horse in the late 1600s enabled Comanche control and dominance not only of the harsh Llano Estacado, but also of a wider span around that flat expanse for 200-plus years. Then settlers pushed in, gaining supremacy only through a violent war of cultures concluding with extermination of hundreds of millions of bison, and, in the very end, the killing of the last remnants of Comanche horses.
Then began the era of reservation life, bringing a new clash of cultures: exclusions, inclusions, adaptations -- a troubled attempt at melding. One stark story informs this pivot of history so clearly: the story of Cynthia Ann Parker and her son, Quanah -- her complete adaptation to the Comanche culture after her capture by Comanches at age 9, and his resolve to lead his people to the reservation and adjust to life beyond the reservation.
We started by filming oral history interviews with some descendants of Cynthia Ann Parker and her son Quanah. That quickly expanded to others, all with stories to tell -- Comanche, Kiowa, and multiple other cultures -- descendants of tribes who hunted Comancheria, warriors from all sides who fought the battles, and settlers who fenced that challenging terrain.
But a wider story needed to be told. Residents of Comancheria today are of intertwined cultural backgrounds. They both share and are inspired by the grit, power, and passion for life of the civilizations that clashed. Our goal is to convey an understanding of the Comancheria past for local and worldwide audiences intrigued by the vibrant tales of Comancheria, then and now, from multiple angles.
Our team and projects include natives and immigrants, historians and authors, educators and filmmakers, artists and students, artisans and business leaders, musicians and independent researchers. Are you a member of our team? Join today and help us organize locally and nationally.