November 4, 2009

Comanches may be racially mixed

from the Bad Eagle blog

If you haven’t checked it out yet, do go see the site “IndiVISIBLE: African-Native American Lives in the Americas.” If you do, you may notice an interesting photo right on the front page of a Comanche kinship group with mixed heritage including black. Considering the length of time and all the mixed history, it is probable that many Comanches might be of mixed lineage -- as are probably all Native peoples. But the photo, and the article, are especially good news for those who reject the notion of “pure blood” that distorts and falsifies the true reality of racial plurality on the planet. So hip hip hooray for black Comanches! Enjoy!

Comanche family, early 1900s

Here is a family from the Comanche Nation located in

southwestern Oklahoma. The elder man in Comanche

traditional clothing is Ta-Ten-e-quer. His wife, Ta-Tat-ty,

also wears Comanche clothing. Their niece (center) is

Wife-per, also known as Frances E. Wright. Her father

was a Buffalo Soldier (an African American cavalryman)

who deserted and married into the Comanches. Henry

(center left) and Lorenzano (center right) are the sons

of Frances, who married an African American man.

Courtesy Sam DeVenney


African-Native American Lives in the Americas

Within the fabric of American identity is woven a story that has long been invisible—the lives and experiences of people who share African American and Native American ancestry.

African and Native peoples came together in the Americas. Over centuries, African Americans and Native Americans created shared histories, communities, families, and ways of life. Prejudice, laws, and twists of history have often divided them from others, yet African-Native American people were united in the struggle against slavery and dispossession, and then for self-determination and freedom.

For African-Native Americans, their double heritage is truly indivisible. The exhibition IndiVisible: African-Native American Lives in the Americas is a collaboration between the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service (SITES).