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The Comanches, exceptional horsemen who dominated the Southern Plains, played a prominent role in Texas frontier history throughout much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Anthropological evidence indicates that they were originally a mountain tribe, a branch of the Northern Shoshones, who roamed the Great Basin region of the western United States as crudely equipped hunters and gatherers. Both cultural and linguistic similarities confirm the Comanches' Shoshone origins. The Comanche language is derived from the Uto-Aztecan linguistic family and is virtually identical to the language of the Northern Shoshones. Sometime during the late seventeenth century, the Comanches acquired horses, and that acquisition drastically altered their culture. The life of the pedestrian tribe was revolutionized as they rapidly evolved into a mounted, well-equipped, and powerful people. Their new mobility allowed them to leave their mountain home and their Shoshone neighbors and move onto the plains of eastern Colorado and western Kansas, where game was plentiful. After their arrival on the Great Plains, the Comanches began a southern migration that was encouraged by a combination of factors. By moving south, they had greater access to the mustangs of the Southwest. The warm climate and abundant buffalo were additional incentives for the southern migration. The move also facilitated the acquisition of French trade goods, including firearms, through barter with the Wichita Indians on the Red River. Pressure from more powerful and better-armed tribes to their north and east, principally the Blackfoot and Crow Indians, also encouraged their migration. A vast area of the South Plains, including much of North, Central, and West Texas, soon became Comanche country, or Comancheria. Only after their arrival on the Southern Plains did the tribe come to be known as Comanches, a name derived from the Ute word Komdnteia, meaning "enemy," or, literally, "anyone who wants to fight me all the time." The
Spaniards in New Meadco, who encountered the Comanches in the early eighteenth century, gave the tribe the name by which they were later known to Spaniards and Americans able. Although the tribe came to be known historically as Comanches, they called themselves Nermernuh, or "the People."
The Comanches did not arrive on the South Plains as a unified body but rather in numerous family groups or bands. The band structure of Comanche society was not rigid, and bands coalesced and broke apart, depending on the needs and goals of their members. As many as thirteen different, Comanche bands were identified during the historic period, and most probably there were others that were never identified. However, five major bands played important roles in recorded Comanche history.
The southernmost band was called Penateka, or "Honey Eaters." Their range extended from the Edwards Plateau to the headwaters of the Central Texas rivers. Because of their location, the Penatekas played the most prominent role in Texas history. North Of Penateka, country was the habitat of the band called Nokoni, or "Those Who Turn Back." The Nokonis roamed from the Cross Timbers region of North Texas to the mountains of New Mexico. Two smaller bands, the Tanima ("Liver-Eaters") and the Tenawa ("Those Who Stay Downstream"), shared the range of the Nokonis. These three divisions are sometimes referred to collectively as Middle Comanches. Still farther north was the range of the Kotsotekas, or "Buffalo-Eaters." Their territory covered what is now western Oklahoma, where they often camped along the Canadian River. The northernmost band was known as the Yamparikas, or "Yap-Eaters," a name derived from that of an edible root. Their range extended north to the Arkansas River. The fifth major band, known as Quahadis (Antelopes), roamed the high plains of the Llano Estacado.
The Comanche remained a nomadic people throughout their free existence. Buffalo, their lifeblood, provided food, clothing, and shelter. Their predominantly meat diet was supplemented with wild roots, fruits, and nuts, or with produce obtained by trade with neighboring agricultural tribes, principally the Wichita and Caddo groups to the east and the Pueblo tribes to the west. Because of their skills as trades, the Comanches controlled much of the commerce of the Southern Plains. They bartered buffalo products, horses, and captives for manufactured items and foodstuffs.
The familiar Plains type teepee constructed of tan buffalo hide stretched over ... more
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Although the key to the Christian religion, the Bible should only be used for the morals it teaches, and not as a religious document. In an effort to collapse a building, removing or damaging the foundation successfully renders the rest of the structure useless. Each story of the building relies on the stability of each story below it, until at last the building relies entirely upon its foundation. In arguing the validity of the Christian bible, much of the same logic may be presumed to be true.
The noted problem, however lies in the fact that some Christians do not or will not accept logic, science, nor empirical evidence which contradicts the word of the bible and their beliefs. Somehow, they feel there must be continuity between Christian ideas and the notions being presented in order for them to make sense logically and have a basis in reality. Such intellectually dishonest tactics such as doublethink, feigned ignorance, or even outright deception, render some logical arguments ineffective to firm believers. Some Christians, it seems, are capable of believing in a hovering building with no foundation and still be taken seriously in equal intellectual situations with modern thinkers.
From a humanist point of view, any belief system which cannot stand up to a series of basic logical standards, such as self-contradiction, and which attempts to determine the value on a human life, undermines that value. Since people choose belief systems and not vice-versa, any belief system failing to pass simple tests of logic and reason needs rejecting. Any other course of action devaluates human life and dignity.
Christianity demonstrates flaws in its validity when compared to any belief system which values human life or the advancement of science. Christianity also suffers from the widespread affliction of stemming from sources of emotion and/or ignorance rather than sources of scientific proof and/or empirical evidence. Included in this category lies the tribal myths upon which Christianity is based.
There are certain elements of Christianity which must be recognized as valid throughout the entire story of the bible and throughout Christian methodology and teachings today in order to maintain its status as a belief system which benefits the person believing, and thus to a society as a whole. These points should be non-negotiable; if they are proven false, can be logically ruled out, or if there is no evidence to support the points, but there if evidence to the contrary, then a critical hinge upon which Christianity rests is removed, and the entire dogmatic system logically collapses. (Archon)
Although technically hundreds of these elements exist, the main focus lies on four main elements. Listing these elements is simple, as is viewing them with skepticism, yet getting people to actually examine their validity given modern science and modern methods is virtually an exercise in futility. (Archon)
A simple examination of the biblical story of Adam and Eve effectively renders Christianity hopelessly grasping for a reason to exist. Several paradoxical inferences can be drawn from this story, which just happen to be central supporting pillars in the Christianity Building. Certainly, some Christians view this story as a parable, which is understandable. If the story is indeed a parable however, then creation is as yet an untouched area insofar as Christianity is concerned. It is also extremely difficult to justify the existence of Jesus Christ later on and still remain within any form of mainstream Christian boundaries if you remove the story of Adam and Eve from literal interpretation.
First, let's take a very simplified look at what the Garden of Eden gives Christianity. Firstly, we have Adam and Eve in paradise, having been created by God, Adam first, out of dust, and then Eve from one of Adams rib bones. They are happy, and completely oblivious to the mere fact that 1+1=2. Ignorance, in other words, is bliss. They are so ignorant, in fact, that neither of them are capable of realizing that they are naked. The obvious pitfalls of being so ignorant are compensated for by God Himself, in that they do not need to shelter themselves, via clothing nor housing, from the elements, nor concern themselves with harmful animals, insects or parasites. Eden was necessarily apart ... more
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