This Is The Most Powerful Native American Tribe In History
The Comanche Nation was once the most powerful in America—and one of the most effective fighting forces in history. They fought off numerous foes and were only defeated in the late 19th century. Here's the secret story of the Comanche, the most powerful Native American tribe in history.
The popular image of the Native American in the 19th century invariably shows them as invincible warriors who live their lives on horseback. And while the Comanche definitely live up to this image, it wasn't always the case. The Comanche started as nomadic hunter-gatherers who moved to follow seasonal prey. In many ways they lagged behind their peers. While the Aztec Empire was building incredible cities and the Iroquois were developing a sophisticated civilization, the Comanche built nothing and had no permanent settlements. They were also not particularly aggressive, which might have had to do with the fact that they were not notably good warriors.
But all this changed in the late 17th century, when the Comanche first encountered the horse.
The Spanish introduced the animals to the Comanche, but the Native American tribe demonstrated an understanding of both how to master these incredible animals and how to translate that mastery into military force. Over the course of the next century, the hunter-gatherers of the Comanche Nation transformed into a dominant, aggressive empire of warriors, and it was all due to their expertise in breaking, training, riding, and fighting with the horse.
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Horses changed everything | 0:15
Single-minded warriors | 1:21
Tribal conquerors | 2:22
The Comancheria | 3:27
War with Texas | 4:34
The last great Chief | 5:26
Succumbing to disease | 6:40
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