Native American studies offer a fascinating insight into the culturally-diverse and highly interesting tribes that peopled this nation. One of the most heavily studied of these is the Comanche. They were a hunting tribe that spread over a vast range in the southwest and which had a very heated history with the American government. Finding their artifacts for your Native American studies class can be a difficult, but rewarding, experience. Make sure to get permission from the tribe before taking any artifacts.
Understanding Where The Comanche's Lived
The Comanche tribe was a widespread and successful one. They lived as far north as Wyoming, into Nebraska, through parts of Colorado and Kansas, down into Oklahoma and New Mexico, and in heavy sections of Texas. This is a range of about 1,000 miles which you can study, including such major cities as Denver, Dallas, Casper, and Amarillo.
Your best best here is to focus your search on areas near these larger towns and near rivers where tribes may have rested. Areas too near large cities are not a good bet because most artifacts have likely either been found already or accidentally destroyed.
Types Of Artifacts You Can Find
Comanche culture was heavily focused on hunting and following various herds around the country. They were also a very artistic tribe, and they often left behind rather gorgeous artwork. The types of Comanche artifacts you're most likely to find include:
- Simple types of pottery that were easy to transport
- Heavy-duty clothes (most likely in caves or other areas that could resist the elements)
- Teepee clothes
- Various forms of Native Art (Comanche art form often took the form of simple hunting paintings)
How To Find Artifacts
Finding any kind of Native American artifact is a struggle that takes a lot of patience. The best way to find some is to search wilderness areas that have remained untouched, specifically private land (ask for permission first) and public hunting land. Focus your search around creeks, ponds, rivers, and even lakes. These areas were often a heavy focus for the Comanche, who were always looking for a good water source.
Now you need to search the area fully, bringing along multiple friends. It's not a bad idea to bring sieves which you can use to sort through the silt and soil of lakes, rivers, and even plains areas where the Comanche may have settled. Typically, they settled in areas that provided great natural protection, such as near mountains or woods.
With a little persistence, you should be able to find some intriguing artifacts that you can have checked by an expert for authenticity. When you're done studying the artifact, it isn't a bad idea to contact a nearby Comanche tribe official and see if they would like the artifact for one of their museums. This is considered very respectful.