Texas Department of Transportation Tribal Histories: Comanche Nation Research Report

December 2021


The TxDOT Tribal Histories Project involves creating a set of geographic historical narratives of tribal presence in Texas through collaboration with participating Tribes. Taking a statewide approach, these histories will serve as resources to inform future statewide transportation planning, project development, tribal consultation activities, and public engagement by TxDOT.

The following research report focuses on the physical locations and specific time periods during which the Comanche Nation was present in Texas. This history reflects the Comanche Nation’s perspectives because the historical and archeological data sources used to construct it were recommended and approved by Martina Minthorn, the Comanche Nation’s Historic Preservation Officer. Ms. Minthorn also provided comments on the draft report that are addressed here in the final report.

The Comanche Nation today is comprised of descendants from many different bands because the survivors of the U.S. Army’s Indian wars sought refuge with each other. Thus, the following narrative attempts to be inclusive of all bands, but because there were so many bands at various points in Comanche history, omissions are inevitable and unavoidable. Ethnographic archival and documentary research for this broad overview focused on providing background context and setting for Comanche peoples, tribes, and cultures associated with the region encompassing Texas. The following research report is organized chronologically and was compiled in consultation with the Comanche Nation’s Historic Preservation Office from both historic works and contemporary sources. Works consulted include ethnohistories, linguistic studies, tribal history compendiums, oral history, and folklore from both twentieth-century and contemporary contexts.

This research report was designed to facilitate the extraction of geographic data, along with calendar and event information, to populate a GIS dataset for use by transportation planners and the Tribe (Appendix). Information from the narrative and GIS dataset (to the extent permissible by the Comanche Nation) is also intended to be readily adapted for use in archeology reports and for educational outreach materials.

We encourage you to visit the TxDOT website where there is additional information as well as the full Comanche Nation Research Report. However, to just read the Comanche Nation Research Report, we have also included a PDF of the document below.