By Joshua Ault
Students at Robert T. Hill Middle School had a chance for a real encounter with the Comanche culture on April 4. Lance Tahmahkera, the great great grandson of Quanah Parker, spoke to several seventh grade classes about his legendary relative and his family’s traditions. “In this area we were the dominant tribe,” said Tahmahkera, “This was our land.”
Quanah Parker was the last free Comanche chief in Texas before moving his people to the Indian Reservations in the late 1800s. Tahmahkera, of Burleson, says it is important for him to keep his Comanche culture alive.
“Why did Quanah not send one of his daughters to school?” said Tahmahkera, “He did not want to lose his culture.”
Tahmahkera says only two percent of Comanches can speak their language fluently. He explained that their language was never written down. Students at Hill had the opportunity to touch many authentic Comanche items including arrows, eagle feathers and Comanche clothing.
“I liked holding the (eagle) feathers,” said seventh grader Pilar Alvarez. “Because they represent that Comanches were brave.”
“I enjoyed the pictures that he showed us and how the Comanches were like back then,” seventh grader Iratze Padron added.
Tahmahkera has been speaking to school groups for more than 20 years and plans to continue to visit as many schools as he can. He hopes to return to Hill Middle School again next year.