The Life of Ten Bears: Comanche Historical Narratives

By Francis Joseph Attocknie; Thomas W. Kavanagh | Go to book overview

31   Miscellaneous Religious Matters

[This chapter was assembled from scattered notes.]


THE SOUTH WIND

The Comanche Beaver Faith-Healing Ritual has been discontinued for about seventy-five years. One of the last Comanche Beaver medicine men was Piahutsu. Another well-known Beaver ritual medicine man was a redhaired captive white who is known to his descendants as Noyer, which is one of the Comanche names for the snake. Whatever name Noyer was known by previously was forgotten when he became a known healer, for Noyer was then named after the Beaver ritual’s most sacred song, which the Beaver medicine man sang personally at the ritual’s moments of strongest emotion.

We direct descendants of Noyer present this roarer or yuani, South Wind as it is called by Comanches, in honor of our ancestor’s sacred memory. The wind-roarer was employed just outside of the entrance to the ritual lodge at the beginning of the healing ritual. Beaver ritual patients were usually those whose exhausted bodies had wasted away from very prolonged illnesses.


THE COMANCHE SUN DANCE

Before the blue-dressed troops of the United States subdued the Comanche Indians and herded them into the Indian Territory, the Comanches were worshipers of the Sun.

People that are ignorant about early Comanche history and customs have been heard to say that the Comanches did not practice the Sun Dance or the Worship of the Sun in the Sun Dance Lodge.

This mistaken idea may have been caused by the fact that the Comanches were the first to abandon this cruel and savage form of worship. Besides self-torture, human lives were also sacrificed to the Sun.

The Comanches used this Sun Worshiping Ceremony in two different forms. One form, very likely the older of the two ceremonies, was used strictly as a foretelling the future ceremony or they would pray to the Sun for information about things considered highly important. In that form of Sun Worship, the only one that did any dancing was the Sun Prophet, who was conducting the Foretelling Ritual.

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