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Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Comanches - Disease and Cures - #TidbitThursday

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Welcome to our newest addition to the blog - Historical Tidbit Thursdays!

This week we'll dive into the diseases and ailments the Comanches faced and what type of cures they utilized.
Medicine Bag:

The common ailments the Comanches faced included colds and pneumonia, rheumatism, arrow and other wounds which could get infected, broken bones, intestinal diseases, snake bites, etc.
There were several smallpox epidemics which killed many, many native peoples: 1816, 1839-1840, and 1861-1862.
Due to the emigrants that passed through their lands, Comanches were also exposed to Cholera which proved deadly. In 1849 a Cholera epidemic spread and killed many.
Some cures to common ailments included the following:
  • Toothache - heated tree fungus pressed to aching jaw
  • Cavities - dried mushroom stuffed into the hole in the tooth
  • Constipation - boiling the cambium layer of the willow tree
  • Open Wounds - pack the wound with grass to stop the bleeding
  • Inflammation - Prickly Pear poultice
  • Infections or Boils or other pains - medicine bone or "madstone"


A common cure-all among Native Americans was to use a sweat lodge to "sweat out" the ailment. For some ailments, this actually made it worse and helped to spread it more quickly. Interestingly, there are still sweat lodge treatments, especially as a last-resort for illness like cancer, going on today.

Source:
The Comanches: Lords of the South Plains by Ernest Wallace and E. Adamson Hoebel; ISBN#978-0806120409

Photo Credit: Medicine Bag: https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/18328450_comanche-medicine-bag
Photo Credit: Sweat Lodge: https://www.warpaths2peacepipes.com/native-american-culture/sweat-lodge.htm

Western Word of the Week - Shavetail - #WesternWordoftheWeek

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Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...

Shavetail - a horse whose tail was cut to indicate a broken mount

Source:
The Cowboy Encyclopedia by Richard W Slatta; ISBN#0-87436-738-7

Western Word of the Week - Scorcher - #WesternWordoftheWeek

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...

Scorcher - branding iron or a hot day

Source:
The Cowboy Encyclopedia by Richard W Slatta; ISBN#0-87436-738-7

Western Travel - Pioneer Days at the Chisholm Trail Museum (Part Four) - Cleburne, Texas - #TravelTuesday

Welcome to my weekly column #TravelTuesday featuring places I've discovered during my research trips or just wandering around in historical areas. I hope you enjoy my discoveries.

Today we continue our review of the 14th Annual Pioneer Days at the Chisholm Trail Museum in Cleburne, Texas.



A nice map of the museum grounds:


Next stop on our little tour around the Chisholm Trail Museum is the Stage Station. Out front is a brightly painted old stagecoach/mail stage. Directly behind the stage coach building are the restrooms.


Interesting Note about early Road Signs...


Down the way a little bit is a Mule Barn which would have housed the mules used to pull the old stagecoaches.




Next door to the Stage Coach is the Sheriff's Office and County Jail.

Inside we found the sheriff and some locals...

And a "paddy wagon" or the early model police car...


Learn more by checking out the official site - jcchisholmtrail.com

Chisholm Trail Museum Physical Address: 101 Chisholm Trail, Cleburne, Texas 76033-0771 Phone Number: 817-648-4633 Hours: Monday - Friday: Regular Hours (April-Dec) Thur/Fri/Sat 10am-5pm. Sunday 1pm -5pm and gate is open. **Daytime Walking Tours Permitted if Gate is Closed.

Interesting Article about the cemetery and the Chisholm Trail Museum - http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/lifestyles/larue-barnes-a-dream-come-true/article_0d4a1808-0ece-5425-a2ab-56906c7849e3.html

Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Comanches - Love and Marriage - #TidbitThursday

Howdy!

Welcome to our newest addition to the blog - Historical Tidbit Thursdays!


Today we will delve into the realm of marriage in the Comanche band. Like mentioned last week, girls typically married around 15 or 16 years while boys married later around 25 or 30 years (as they accumulated their wealth and prestige). Older men with wealth could offer a girl's father a larger bride-price (dowry) which usually consisted of many horses.

When a boy wanted to marry a girl, he would give a present (usually a horse) to her brother or father to show he could provide for the family. It was custom for the son-in-law to provide for the wives' family. If the father accepted the proposal, the horse was added to the family's herd.

There was no real ceremony. The groom simply took the bride and her belongings to his own tipi. There might be feasting and dancing to celebrate.

If a boy was too poor to afford a bride-price (dowry), the girl might decide to elope with the boy. In this case, relatives or friends would donate horses to assuage the affronted parents.

A girl's family would never seek out a potential groom except in cases where a white captive showed potential as a great warrior/provider. A full-blooded Comanche would consider this disgraceful.

A bride's mother/relatives/friends would help get the couple started with housekeeping and furnishings.

Source:
The Comanches: Lords of the South Plains by Ernest Wallace and E. Adamson Hoebel; ISBN#978-0806120409


Picture credit - Quanah and his 2 wives - http://amertribes.proboards.com/thread/593

Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Comanches - Death and Burial - #TidbitThursday

Howdy!

Welcome to our newest addition to the blog - Historical Tidbit Thursdays!

This week I want to focus on some of the death practices and burial methods, many of which are unique to the Comanche tribe.
A person's belongings were either destroyed/burned or buried with the person. Babies were buried in their cradle boards. Adults were dressed in their finest clothes and buried in the fetal position (knees tied to chest and head bent to knees). Their eyes were sealed closed with red clay and their faces painted with red or vermillion paint. A blanket was tied around their bodies.
People were buried away from camp in caves, among rock formation, in a deep river wash or hole. They were buried facing the rising sun (East).
There may be a mourning or funeral dance with lots of lamentations by the family members. Men would cut off their highly prized hair (sometimes on the left side only). The tipi and belongings of the dead person would be burned. It was common for mourning to last a year or so.
The names of the dead were avoided. You could not name a new baby after a dead person as it was bad luck.

Source:
The Comanches: Lords of the South Plains by Ernest Wallace and E. Adamson Hoebel; ISBN#978-0806120409

Western Word of the Week - Sand - #WesternWordoftheWeek

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...

Sand - grit or courage

Source:
The Cowboy Encyclopedia by Richard W Slatta; ISBN#0-87436-738-7

Western Travel - Pioneer Days at the Chisholm Trail Museum (Part Three) - Cleburne, Texas - #TravelTuesday

Welcome to my weekly column #TravelTuesday featuring places I've discovered during my research trips or just wandering around in historical areas. I hope you enjoy my discoveries.

Today we continue our review of the 14th Annual Pioneer Days at the Chisholm Trail Museum in Cleburne, Texas.

     
One of the strangest attractions at the Chisholm Trail Museum is the small cemetery consisting of 2 plots covered with rocks and leaves. According to the museum's website, this cemetery was uncovered during the cleaning and removal of underbrush and trees in the area which revealed the graveyard long hidden there.

Two gravesites (presumably not containing any bodies) lay in this enclosed space, each with a marker. These are the memorials for William and Permelia O'Neal who were early settlers to the now-defunct Wardville (established in 1854), who had graciously donated some of their land holdings to the city.



William O'Neal

Permelia O'Neal

Learn more by checking out the official site - jcchisholmtrail.com

Chisholm Trail Museum Physical Address: 101 Chisholm Trail, Cleburne, Texas 76033-0771 Phone Number: 817-648-4633 Hours: Monday - Friday: Regular Hours (April-Dec) Thur/Fri/Sat 10am-5pm. Sunday 1pm -5pm and gate is open. **Daytime Walking Tours Permitted if Gate is Closed.

Interesting Article about the cemetery and the Chisholm Trail Museum - http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/lifestyles/larue-barnes-a-dream-come-true/article_0d4a1808-0ece-5425-a2ab-56906c7849e3.html

Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Comanches - Babies and Children - #TidbitThursday

Howdy!

Welcome to our newest addition to the blog - Historical Tidbit Thursdays!


Today we'll look at one of my favorite topics - babies - and how they were raised by the Comanche Indians. Due to the harsh living conditions and hard-working lifestyle of these nomads, women typically only had one or two children. Infant mortality rates were high and, out of necessity, infanticide was practiced on deformed, diseased or weak babies. However, parents (and relatives) loved their children very much and took really good care of them.

Within 10 days of giving birth, mothers would wrap their babies in a papoose board (as pictured above) so that the mother could resume her tasks. Talk about hard working! The papoose or cradle board was a basket-like device attached to a flat board and was worn on the mother's back. Soft moss was padded inside to absorb the baby's excrement. Each night they were cleaned, greased and powdered then placed into a night cradle. Babies stayed in these cradles for about 9 months.

Comanches did not physically harm or punish their children. Any "harsh" punishment was performed by close relatives and were more of psychological type of punishment. Children might be threatened by the "Big Cannibal Owl" who lived in a cave and came out at night to eat bad children.

Interestingly, due to the close familial relationships, a girl's mother's sisters were called "mother" instead of "aunt" and a boy's father's brothers were called "father" instead of "uncle". Reciprocating, men called their nieces "daughter" and nephews "son". A boy's mother's brother was called "uncle".

Small girls performed tasks like gathering wood or wild fruits/nuts and carrying water. Older girls cooked, make dresses and moccasins, and helped set up the tipi. By 16 years old, a girl could be married (usually to an older man).

Boys learned to handle their own pony by 4 or 5 years. By 6 years they were able ride young colts bareback and learned to shoot bow and arrows. At 15 or 16 years of age, the boy went on his first raid. Boys married later (around 25 or 30) than girls because they wanted to become great warriors or hunters and accumulate wealth (horses) to give a good bride-price (dowry). Adolescent boys were given their own tipi.

Source:
The Comanches: Lords of the South Plains by Ernest Wallace and E. Adamson Hoebel; ISBN#978-0806120409


Photo Credit - Papoose - http://www.firstpeople.us/native-american/photographs/Papoose-a.jpg

Historical Tidbit Thursdays - The Comanches - Babies - #TidbitThursday

Howdy!

Welcome to our newest addition to the blog - Historical Tidbit Thursdays!

Women gave birth in an isolated birthing lodge with the help of a medicine woman and 1-2 assistants. 2 pits were dug into the floor - one for heated water and one for the afterbirth. Hot rocks were placed against a woman's back to help with the pain. If the birth was especially difficult, a medicine man would be called in to help. No other man could enter the birthing lodge. The woman recovered for 10 days before returning to her chores.
For its first few days, babies were swaddled in robes next to it mother. When it was time for her to leave, the baby was bathed and wrapped in rabbit skins then placed into a cradle board. The baby's father gave gifts to the baby's first visitor.
 
Soft, dry moss was stuffed into the board to catch the excrement. Every night, the baby was washed, greased and powdered.
After 9 or 10 months, a baby was allowed out of its cradle. When it wasn't scrambling on the ground, it was carried on the mother's back. Children were carried until they were old enough to ride a horse.

Source:
The Comanches: Lords of the South Plains by Ernest Wallace and E. Adamson Hoebel; ISBN#978-0806120409


Picture Credit: By Birmingham Museum of Art, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16278379

Western Word of the Week - Salt Horse - #WesternWordoftheWeek

Howdy!

Welcome to our Weekly Western Word of the Day...

Salt Horse - corned beef

Source:
The Cowboy Encyclopedia by Richard W Slatta; ISBN#0-87436-738-7

Western Travel - Pioneer Days at the Chisholm Trail Museum (Part Two) - Cleburne, Texas - #TravelTuesday

Welcome to my weekly column #TravelTuesday featuring places I've discovered during my research trips or just wandering around in historical areas. I hope you enjoy my discoveries.

Today we continue our review of the 14th Annual Pioneer Days at the Chisholm Trail Museum in Cleburne, Texas.

 
Nolan River School (operated 1855-1877) is a small white clapboard one-room schoolhouse that sits in the back of the flat grassy field. On the Chisholm Trail Museum map of the grounds it's labeled as "1855 School House". It was opened here in May of 2012 to be utilized as a real classroom. Interestingly, after it opened, schools in the Cleburne ISD and other nearby areas held classes here to show students what life was like back then.


Costumed guides joined the class for a short period.


A large black pot belly stove sits in the front of the school and would have been the only source of heat. Right next to it was a chair and dunce cap.


Antique books and McGuffey readers mingles with more contemporary books (like one featuring Elmo).

Chalkboards and slates provided writing surfaces.

Interested in having your class taught at this school? Get more information here: http://jcchisholmtrail.com/news/news.php?NOLAN-RIVER-SCHOOL-7

Learn more by checking out the office site - jcchisholmtrail.com

Chisholm Trail Museum Physical Address: 101 Chisholm Trail, Cleburne, Texas 76033-0771 Phone Number: 817-648-4633 Hours: Monday - Friday: Regular Hours (April-Dec) Thur/Fri/Sat 10am-5pm. Sunday 1pm -5pm and gate is open. **Daytime Walking Tours Permitted if Gate is Closed.

Interesting article about the Nolan River School - http://www.cleburnetimesreview.com/news/local_news/school-days-golden-rule-days-at-nolan-river-school/article_bb44a886-0fd8-5991-add2-772dba0996b6.html