The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995

Book Revzews

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Moreover, anyone familiar with this subject might well ask why we need another
book on the Comanches with Ernest Wallace and Adamson Hoebel's The Co-
manches: Lords of the South Plazns still in print.
In addition, the organization of the book is unusual. A glance at the table of
contents would seem to indicate a strictly chronological approach, yet most
chapters contain something topical: a look at Comanche religious beliefs, meth-
ods of warfare, marriage customs, childrearing practices, duties of a warrior, and
so on. And Noyes does not always keep to his chronological framework, pursu-
ing these topics across the years and juxtaposing comments from observers from
different decades or even different centuries.
Yet after reading this volume, I understand why it was published and why it
elicited favorable dust jacket blurbs from scholars such as Marc Simmons and
Ferol Egan along with similar comments from Tony Hillerman and Frank Wa-
ters. By the time the reader finishes the epilogue, he or she will have a deeper
understanding and appreciation of the Comanches and their culture, yet with-
out the maudlin, patronizing tone taken by some who write about Native Ameri-
cans these days. Noyes makes no effort to gloss over the fact that the Comanches
lived by war and raiding; he notes, for example, that one Comanche chief, when
pressed to make peace with another nation of Native Americans, lamented that
without war his young men might become effeminate.
This picture, however, while accurate, is balanced with a look at the Comanch-
es' joyful approach to life, their sense of humor, their appreciation of natural
beauty, and their stoicism in the face of their many difficulties. Buried in every
chapter are nuggets-no, veins-of anecdotes, trivia, character sketches, and
hard historical fact that produce a moving portrayal of the Numuhnuh-the Peo-
ple, as they call themselves. Certainly Noyes overlooked few sources in putting
Los Comanches together.
This is the kind of scholarship that most of us academics would have failed in
the form of a dissertation, but which in book form we would put at the top of
our classes' reading lists. Many scholars might profit, and find much enjoyment,
from putting it at the top of their own reading lists. I know I did.
Northeastern State Unzversity ODIE B. FAULK
Discovered Lands, Invented Pasts. By Jules Prown, Nancy Anderson, William
Cronon, Brian Dippie, Martha Sandweiss, Susan Prendergast Schoelwer,
and Howard Lamar. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1992- Pp. 217. Pref-
ace, introduction, notes, index. ISBN 0-30005-722-9. $35.00.)
Kzowa Memories: Images from Indzan Territory, i88o. By Ronald McCoy. (Santa Fe:
Morning Star Gallery, 1987. Pp. iv+67. Foreword, color plates, appendix, ac-
knowledgments, suggested reading. ISBN 0-31767-928-7. $21.00 .oo.)
The publication of Dzscovered Lands, Invented Pasts coincided with the opening
of an exhibition of the same name drawn from the collections of the Yale Uni-
versity Art Gallery, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale, and
the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art in Tulsa. The theme

1994

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 98, July 1994 - April, 1995. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101216/. Accessed April 21, 2014.