"Comanche Land and Ever Has Been": An Indigenous Model of Persistence

Author(s): Lindsay Montgomery

Year: 2016


In 1844, the Comanche leader Mopechucope signed a treaty with the state of Texas, in which he described central and western Texas as "Comanche land and ever has been" (Gelo 2000: 274; Dorman and Day 1995: 8). Mopechucope’s understanding of Comanche history lies in stark contrast to the narratives of terra nullius and cultural decline found in colonial documents and reified in anthropological and historical scholarship. Drawing on an indigenous understanding of history and place-making this paper advocates for a critical shift in the way scholars engage with continuity. This alternative model of persistence entails a movement away from one-to-one indices of survival, towards an emphasis on the particular ontologies which inform both cultural maintenance and adaptation. Through a discussion of Comanche archaeology and Ethnohistory in New Mexico, this paper offers a different understanding of the Comanche’s legacy in the Southwest.

Cite this Record

"Comanche Land and Ever Has Been": An Indigenous Model of Persistence. Lindsay Montgomery. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434559)


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 348