Manataka American Indian Council


 

Warrior Society

Children of the Wind

A Story of the Comanche
By Dr. David Yeagley
(quin-ne Kash-su-it)

 

Comanche people didnít come out of the earth, like the other people. We were born from the wind.  We were simple, without masks, and we rode the Wind, in wild, fearless freedom, and in the joy of savage innocence.

 

They say we are from the Shoshoni people, from the North Country, and the Snake River. They say we separated from them, and stayed in the mountains, while everyone else moved farther down and on to the endless prairies.

 

We stayed in the Rocky Mountains, the southern parts, for many generations. Everyone forgot about us. In time, most people did know we even existed. We lived a long time there, in the mountains, by ourselves. We had no concern about other people, or whether they knew about us.   We were happy among ourselves. That was enough.

 

We had nothing that anyone else was interested in. We had no clothes, no religion, and no shining thing. We were naked of culture.  Our secret time in the mountains stripped us of anything superfluous. We shed all that was unnecessary.   We understood the truth about our life. Only our will, our hands, and the wind gave us life.  It was a pure, simple life. We had no need of other people.

   

One day, a few of us wandered out to the edge of the mountains, and saw something that reminded us of our birth. It was a relative of the Wind, the horse.  We called him ta' hayh. The Wind loved this relative, and brought us to him, because the Wind knew we would love him. We and the horse felt a deep kinship. It seemed ancient, and forever.  We wondered how we ever became separated.

 

We realized that the horse was the sign to us, from the Wind.  It was time for use to leave the mountains, and to ride the Wind relative over the plains.  We made our new home on the horse.  He was the son of the Wind. He would take us into the Wind, and there we would feel our first home again.   It was a rebirth.   We seemed like we had been lost, but the Wind had found us. And we were ready.

 

In the time of three grandfathers, we rode over all the plains south and southwest of our mountain womb.  We were different from everyone we saw. The earth people were strange people to us, and they all ran from us.  Then we chased them away.   The Wind was ours, and all it touched, the land, the rivers, and the sky.   We were alone, with our life. We moved.  We were always moving, like the Wind.  For us, moving was life.

 

We liked things that flowed with the wind, things that made the Wind appear before our eyes. The tall grass waved as the Wind passed over.  We could see the touch of the Wind, and its path. The horse carried the Wind on his neck, and on his tail, when he ran.  He was a true son of the Wind.  And riding on him, we felt the Wind in our hair, and we grew our hair longer and longer. We made long leather hair for our legs, our arms, and we became one with our relative the horse. Together we were children of the Wind.

 

We became great hunters. We liked most to chase the animals that ran the fastest. We could feel the Wind better that way.  We wouldnít let any earth people hunt with us, or come with us anywhere our Wind blew.

 

After a long time, more and more strange people came to the land where our Wind blew.  They didnít like to move.  They liked to stay in one place.  They got in our way, as we rode the Wind. And there was war between them and us. We didnít understand these people. The other earth people had gone away from us, but there were other people, who would not go away. And they had fire in their walking sticks, fire that burned, and killed. 

 

There were too many of them. They begin to chase us, and to destroy us. They did not want us to be with the Wind anymore.  They came between us and our life.  They killed our relative, the horse, and then put us behind wooden walls. This was terrible and sad for us.  We never understood why this happened. It killed our hearts.  We became stone. 

 

They forced us to live with earth people, and we began to feel their ways a little.  We didnít do their dances much, but we wore some of their clothes.  We liked the things that could feel the Wind. Some of the earth people knew about the Wind.

 

Today, we are still behind walls.  We cannot move with the Wind. We know she is there, always, but we cannot be part of him.  Today, we only remember the Wind.  We can only remember the days of deep freedom. We are not riding, and weíre not feeling the Wind, but we remember. 

 

Today, only my mind can freely wander. My spirit rides the Wind, and I cover much land, but it is all ghost land, a land where no one lives. I am free there, and my spirit helps me feel like days past, when I rode as the Wind. I hunt ideas, and there are many of them.  I kill, and eat, and ride again.  I like the big game, the fastest, so I can feel the Wind in my heart.

 

Submitted by Lynn Laughing Crow

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