The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954 Page: 143
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do the task. Indeed they could not have done it so well had not
a considerable part of their research been made as early as two
decades ago, when there were still to be found among the Indians
old men and women who had grown up in the prereservation era.
They begin their book in a workman-like manner by setting
forth and explaining briefly the alphabet of the International
Phonetics System which they are to use in writing Comanche
words. Apparently they have made an enduring contribution in
this area by placing in print symbols that should preserve quite
accurately a number of Comanche words as Comanches pro-
nounce them. Strange as it may seem I must follow with a protest,
although it is a shame to criticize such an excellent book about
a matter of no great consequence. They have discarded various
historical words for new ones which represent more accurate
translations of the Comanche words. For instance the Penatekas
(Honey Eaters), or Southern Comanches, known in history by
these terms for more than a century, become in this book the
Wasps. No matter how much the original Comanche words have
been mutilated or how inaccurate the translations, these names
have become fixed in historical writings and efforts to change
them must lead to confusion. It is good to have better translations,
but the well-known names should at least appear in the index.
The authors proceed with vivid accounts of every phase of
Comanche life: the country they claimed as their own; their
physical characteristics; tribal divisions; food, clothing, and shel-
ter; horsemanship and buffalo hunting; games and amusements;
weapons and other implements; the family; religion and tradi-
tions; law and government; and warfare. In this book you find
yourself going with the Comanches on a buffalo hunt, or riding
away on a raid of the Texan frontier or the North Mexican states.
You play exciting games with Indian boys or sit in an Indian
camp fire circle while old men tell of feats of the war trail. Truly
these authors make the Comanches live again. They seem to have
left out nothing and apparently have exploited every known
authoritative source of consequence. I wish they had written more
at length about the Comanche in transition, dealt with in the
last chapter, but there must be limits to any book.
Here is a book that combines the finest qualities of scholarship
with a high degree of appeal to the rank and file of readers. In
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 57, July 1953 - April, 1954, periodical, 1954; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101152/m1/165/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.