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Wild Horse

by David Yeagley · March 1, 2009 · 6 Comments ·

Wild Horse, a Quahada Comanche was one of the Comanche warriors involved in the attack on Adobe Walls (June 27, 1874), out in the Texas panhandle. He and the Comanches, along with a good number of Cheyenne, were still quite “hostile,” the whites said. Patriots, we Indians call them. There were willing to fight to the last man, at least at that time.

Wild Horse had come under that strange spell of Ishatai (Eschiti), the “medicine” man who claimed he made the Indians invulnerable to the white man’s bullets, and that they must continue to fight. They could still win. (Of course, when they lost at Adobe Walls, Ishatai said his po-ha-cut failed because a taboo he had given was broken. Someone had killed an animal before the battle.)

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Wild Horse, ca. 1880

As it turned out, Wild Horse was made a “chief” when the last of the Comanches finally ended their resistance and faced the white man at Fort Sill. Bull Elk, the Quahada Comanche leader at the transition period felt he could not deal with the whites, and ordained Wild Horse in his stead.

Wild Horse had himself cease warring in April, 1875. Colonel R. MacKenzie was quick to apeal to Wild Horse to help in rounding up the rest of the free Comanche (the Quahada) who were till out on the Llano Estacado (Staked Plains) of the Texas panhandle. MacKenzie picked Wild Horse and two other Comanches, one of whom was Tu-vi-ai, better known as Bad Eagle. The other was Ishatai. “Doctor” Jacob J. Sturm, who was serving as an interpretor for Col. MacKenzie, was sent out to find the last free Comanche and give to them the message that they all needed to come in to Fort Sill. It is said that Wild Horse made strong appeal to Quanah Parker, leader of the last free Quahada. However, Dr. Sturm considered Ishatai the greater influence (despite the defeat at Adobe Walls), and credited Ishatai with Parker’s decision to finally end the Comanche’s independence.

Wild Horse, Ishatai, and Bad Eagle well knew that the days of independence had become impossible. The buffalo had been reduced to nothing, the antelope had fled away, and survival off the land was simply impossible. The white man’s presence had multiplied beyond what most Indians could comprehend, or had any disposition to comprehend. Only Indians who had seen it first hand could understand the power of the white man’s world. There was no longer any hope of the old life, the free, independent life.

The transition had been gradual, of course, because the Comanche tribes were scattered all over the southwest. They had established the largest ‘empire’ ever created on the continent. No, they weren’t interested in ruling over other people, Indians, Mexicans, or Whites. The Comanche simply dominated what they considered hunting ground. The largest empire in North America had simply been a hunting empire. For the Comanche people, so grand, so spread out, yet in small individually autonomous bands, to eventually come to a united comprehension that their whole world was ending, was not a sudden revolution of awareness. The end of their empire was not an easily disseminated bit of information.

Naturally, when one portion of the empire ended, those Comanche were of the disposition that the other Comanches, still hunting, should also end their portion of the empire. Wild Horse, Ishatai, and Bad Eagle all went through this change of disposition. Bad Eagle, of course, had the advantage of already living in a civilized society earlier in his life, and he knew Indians could do it. Therefore, he was willing to encourage the end of the hunting empire.

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Wild Horse, in warrior’s dress

In future generations, down to the present day, there remains a active tension among the descendents of the Comanche warriors–even among the same tribe. Wild Horse, Ishatai, Bad Eagle, Quanah Parker, and the great Ten Bears (peace chief), were all Quahada (Antelope) Comanche. Ironically, all but Ten Bears were involved in the final phasing out of the last free days for the Quahada. Yet, there is living resentment, if unconscious or unspoken, of Wild Horse, Ishatai, and Bad Eagle, particularly Bad Eagle. Bad Eagle had the irritating experience of having one of his wives stolen from him by Quanah Parker–for which Quanah paid a very high price. But, that’s a different story.

Indians don’t forget things quickly, or easily. Even today’s relationships with Washington are dominated by the sentiments of a past century. Indians are nations, with different languages, religions, and territories. All the tribes see Washington as the power with whom they have to do. Treaties with states or local governance, even it it preceded the national treaties, as it did in many cases with the warring Plains Indianis, were never considered the ultimate agreement. The umbilical cord of Indian Country is connect to Washington. It is, so far, an unbreakable tradition. Whatever frustration, obfuscation, and social retardation this arrengement engenders, American Indians seem willing to endure it.

Posted by David Yeagley · March 1, 2009 · 10:51 am CT · ·

Tags: American Indians · Bad Eagle Journal · Politics




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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 kschwantz // Mar 1, 2009 at 12:05 pm   

    How vulnerable would you say The Indian Nations are to subjugation by the Obamunists?

    There’s an ongoing issue whereby soverignty is being connived away with promise of a few dollars more from Casinos right? What would it take from Washington to signal the final death knell of all Indian Nations via this strategy or others, do you think?

  • 2 David Yeagley // Mar 1, 2009 at 12:39 pm   

    A lot of Indians think Obama is going to something special for them. Where they got this idea I am not sure. Maybe it’s still some abiding resentment of the white man, and the idea of showing an alien black African Communist special respect is a kind of childish act of rebellion.

    The north Indians (Crow) did this first. Maybe they have a lot of Negro mixing among their people these days. Negros have taken every possible advantage of Indians. Not marriages, just sex with Indian women. Negro children, on Indian rolls, for benefits.

    This is the most pathetic plight Indians have ever endured. But many Indians don’t resist. The Negro is their ally in anti-white feelings.

    And the Negro is the weakest of all groups ever to come to America. Indians want to unite with the Negro, American and/or African?

    I don’t see it.

  • 3 kschwantz // Mar 1, 2009 at 12:52 pm   

    Politically though, how suseptible to loosing National Indian Soverignty are the Nations do you think?

    I believe you wrote an article to the effect that government Officials were making deals to tax casinos on Reservations, and the abolition of Tax exempt status was in effect relinquishment or soverignty in a sense. Is this true, or am I faulting?

    How much of an extra push would it take if the government’s goal was to erase the treaties wholesale?

    Do you think the nations would fall for it?

  • 4 David Yeagley // Mar 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm   

    Indian casinos are generally established by compact, or by an agreement with state and/or federal authorities. There is a pre-arranged “share” of profits. I think they avoid using the word “tax.”

    I know this: the NIGA (National Indian Gaming Commission) has bragged about a near-thirty billion annual revenue from the Indian casinos nation-wide. At the same time, the BIA has an Indian “budget” of I think 3.5 billion.

    Now, the question is, how long is the government going to consider that 3.5 billion important, when the Indians are bragging about 30 billion?

    The truth is, Indians get a fraction of the “revenue.” Revenue is the money that passes through, not what the Indian get. Indians get a tiny bit of that–but even that is infintely more than they’ve ever had before.

    This is a very hard call.

  • 5 kschwantz // Mar 1, 2009 at 1:46 pm   

    And what of the issue of Indian Soverignty? This is all just speculating of course, but if you were a Government Beaurocrat, and you wanted to erradicate the Idea of Seperate Indian Nations and Indian Soverignty as a whole, what would stand in your way? What could be gained?

    See what with all the “change” going around in the Obamistration, what’s to keep them if they wanted to, (for whatever reason) from just taking back the Reservations wholesale?

    I mean they’re really not letting the Constitution stand in the way from turning America into old Europe, so what’s really keeping them from outing the Indians while their at it?

  • 6 David Yeagley // Mar 1, 2009 at 6:32 pm   

    The United States Constitution does stand in the way. Indians were related to as separate nations from the United States. (This was evident even in the Declaration of Independence, really.)

    I’ve said again and again, though, the government of the United States could declare the treaties null and void with the stroke of a pen.

    However, it it ine anti-American interests of alien black African Communist and those white Oedipals who created him, to keep the Indian separate. In fact, the more money poured into Indian country, the more satisfied the Communists would be. They love anything that would hurt America in any way. They live for such opportunities.

    Indians have this safety: the Indian nations are a great tool for Communists to use against America in any way they can. Our Indian nationhood, to whatever degree it really exists, is safe in the hands of anti-American Communists.

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