Sunday, March 11, 2012

My Regular Sunday Walk With Arlington's Keechi Creek Indian Ghosts Wondering If Buffalo Hump Visited Village Creek While Exploring The Empire Of The Summer Moon

The last couple days of rain has caused the Village Creek Natural Historical Area, aka Keechi Creek Natural Historical Area, to suddenly turn into a green jungle rain forest.

I had myself a very pleasant walk through the Keechi Rain Forest today.

I am currently reading the most interesting book I've read in a long while.

EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON: Quanah Parker and the RISE and FALL of the COMANCHES, the Most POWERFUL INDIAN Tribe in American History, by S.C. Gwynne.

There are many reasons why this book is interesting, one of which is the areas talked about in the book are often areas of Texas with which I am familiar. Like locations of Indian Villages back in the days when there were still Indian Villages before the Texans evicted the natives in a primitive version of eminent domain abuse which in later years the Texans would perfect into a world class art form.

I'd heard of Buffalo Hump prior to reading Empire of the Summer Moon, but I thought he was a fictional Comanche chief made up by Larry McMurtry in some of the books in his Lonesome Dove series, like Comanche Moon and Man's Walk.

Buffalo Hump was born in the late 1790s, died in 1870. He was a powerful War Chief of the Penateka Band of the Comanche.

Buffalo Hump's Comanche name was Numu Tekwapu. This name transliterated as Po-cha-na-quar-hip. What this meant in English embarrassed the prudish Victorian Texans, so they took to calling Numu Tekwapu, Buffalo Hump.

What could Buffalo Hump's Comanche name possibly have meant, that Texans did not want to make a name for it, you can't help but wonder, can you?

The Comanche meaning of the name, which the Texans did not want to Americanize, was "erection that won't go down".

I suspect Buffalo Hump had many wives.

Some historical events, in Texas, have remained in the collective memory, like remembering the Alamo. Others have been largely forgotten. Like the Council House Fight and what followed the Council House Fight, that being Buffalo Hump's Great Raid of 1840.

Buffalo Hump was so mad about being betrayed by the Texans, at the Council House Fight, that he organized a big war party of Comanche, which he led from the north of Texas all the way past San Antonio to the Texas Gulf Coast, where the city of Victoria was attacked and the shipping port of Linnville was destroyed.

Buffalo Hump and the Comanche made off with a huge bounty of goods and horses. It was a long trek back to the safety of the Comancheria Nation.

The Great Raid of 1840 became legendary, until the legend faded from the collective memory.

Is Texas State History a required course to take to graduate high school in Texas, I can't help but wonder? In Washington, freshman year, you are required to take Washington State History. At least that was the case when I was in high school.

Washington does not have a lot of history, compared to Texas. There is no Alamo to remember in Washington. There was the Pig War between the United States and the British Empire, fought, primarily, on Washington's San Juan Island.

A pig was the only casualty of that conflict.

To pass Washington State History, among many bits of knowledge, you are required to know all of Washington's counties and their county seats. Washington has only 39 counties. Texas has 254 counties. I suspect no one in Texas can name every county in Texas and its seat.

I've known several Texans who matriculated through the Texas education system. I remember asking one of those Texans if she knew where the headwaters of the Trinity River were. She did not. I looked it up and found out. I have since forgotten.

I think I remember mentioning previously being appalled that Gar the Texan, he being a fairly intelligent, albeit somewhat poorly educated product of the Texas education system, expressed great surprise that Fort Worth was so named due to having started out as a fort. A small fort that was called a camp at its inception. I recollect no curiosity, from the incurious Gar the Texan, as to the source of the Worth part of the Fort's name.

I do not remember if I ever asked Gar the Texan if he knew what happened at the Alamo.

I suspect Gar the Texan has Comanche blood in him. He has the Comanche traits of being short and scrawny, with a big head covered by a mop of black hair, with a doleful, squinty gaze, along with the taking of multiple wives and possibly being benefited by Buffalo Hump syndrome, which would explain the ability to juggle multiple girl friends at once.

Speaking of Fort Worth, I must get around to sharing the story of Quanah Parker's mom, Cynthia Ann Parker's arrival in Fort Worth, after being kidnapped from her Comanche tribe by well meaning, murderous Texans on a rampage, who killed her husband, Peta Nocona, then grabbed Cynthia Ann and her baby, Prairie Flower, while Quanah and his baby brother, Peanut, escaped, never to see their mom or sister again.


CatsPaw said...

Why, I just bought Empire of the Summer Moon on Saturday.

But I won't get around to reading it until I am done being upset by Stephen King's lack of Fort Worth geographic competency in "11-22-63." He's got so much wrong that it has become a second hobby for me to complain about.

King has Oswald living on Mercedes Street in the shadow of the Montgomery Ward warehouse just west of downtown in 1962 (which is accurate), but many of his supporting descriptions and events describe the Mercedes Street area in Benbrook - a mere 10 miles away.

For fiction based around an actual event, the guy could have done better research - or paid for someone to do actual reconnaissance on the ground in Fort Worth. None of this will spoil the story for someone not familiar with FW, but it's making me nuts. He could have hired me for peanuts to just Google, for pete's sake - and get it right.

Gar said...

I missed this whole series because I was in Canyon (having had to drive through Quanah, Texas to get there).

I've always blamed my Fort Worth ignorance on being born in Kermit which had nothing to do with a frog. The obvious is not always correct.

Anyway, I think this was once again a mean spirited attack on my person. My mom always said I was Cherokee or Choctaw.

I think the last time I wrote about you I was very gentle and kind for you to strive to cause such mental anguish.