if I understand you correctly, you think that Quenatosavit was his "real" name and Isatai was kind of a nickname or derogatory name that was applied to him by the Comanche after Adobe Wells. Sounds plausible to me.
If so, Historians should note that for future books on Southern Plains history.
if I understand you correctly, you think that Quenatosavit was his "real" name and Isatai was kind of a nickname or derogatory name that was applied to him by the Comanche after Adobe Wells. [sic, Walls] <snip>
It’s not that I “think” that, I “know” that. ;-)
Here’s the data:
re the name Quenatosavit. It is /kwinai/ ‘eagle’, /tosavitU/ ‘white’ . There is apparently no mention of the man, either as Quenatosavit, White Eagle, or Isatai in the records before March 1873 (Kavanagh 1996/99:438). That said, the earliest mention (in a form of the name) of Isatai is J.J. Sturm’s 1875 report of his mission to bring in the ‘out’ bands. He is listed on all the post-1879 censuses as Quenatosavit, although his children are listed in some form of Isatai (e.g. Eschiti).
Now, as for his role:
Sturm implied that he was more than just the “medicine man”, but was indeed the /paraibo/ ‘chief’ of the village, albeit still a “young man”; Quanah, was also a “young man of much influence.”
Although he was the leader of the third largest group on the early reservation (after Quanah and Cheevers), there is apparently little mention of him in the various political deliberations during the ante-1901 reservation period (i.e., in the leasing of the grass to Texas cattlemen, or the fights over the 1892 Jerome Agreement and subsequent allotment of the reservation.)
In re this latter, No, he did not die ca. 1890, as suggested by Charlie above. Rather he outlived Quanah, living until 1916. Indeed, after Quanah’s death in 1911, he tried to get himself named “Principal Chief,” at least of the “Walters” Comanches, if not the Comanches as a whole.
[Walters is a community in the southern part of the reservation; at allotment, Quenatosavit and his family took allotments along Beaver Creek on the east side of the reservation, not in the west near Cache, where Quanah lived.]
Aside: Charlie also mentioned “...meaning "Wolf's dung" ... a very curious name!”
Not really: Comanche names can be quite scatalogical. The word quetop /kwitapu/ excrement/feces/dung, occurs in several Comanche names and ethnonyms, e.g., Paruaquitap ‘Elk Dung’; Esiquita, ‘gray feces’, aka Mescalero Apaches; Quitarinuu ‘Excrement People’, Pawnee.’ ‘Wolf’s Dung’ would be Isaquetop.
Last Edit: Oct 10, 2012 8:14:09 GMT -5 by tkavanagh
Great site, just came upon it. You probably did not mean it in its connotation, but I think that it is important to point out that the Comanche did not have "chiefs", nor were they tribesmen. These are two common assumptions from everything that I have read. There were absolutely leaders among the bands, but their claim to fame was primarily through their achievements in battle and how powerful their medicine was. Please let me know your thoughts if you have time as I am in the midst of a giant project covering the Comanchero.
Sorry I didn't see this post sooner, I've been away.
When you say, "You probably did not mean it in its connotation," I have to respond that I probably did mean it (whatever 'it' was).
But before we continue, I have to ask: What are your sources for your statements? Have you read my _Comanche Political History_ (aka _The Comanches: A History_)? [It will also give you context on the Comancheros.]
If you include Wallace and Hoebel's _The C: Lords of The South Plains_ in your sources, please look at the appendices to my _Comanche Ethnography_, which traces their (at least Hoebel's) statements to their sources among the 1933 Comanche consultants, and gives a context for evaluating the validity of those statements.
If you haven't read CPH/TC:AH or looked at CE, please do so. Then we can continue.
Kavanagh, after reading the Ferenbach book and various references to early contact I was also, as jpbergman, under the assumption that Comanche did not have "permanent chiefs" as whites commonly understood. I got the idea, probably false as you seem to imply in your answer to jpbergmann, that they had temporary leaders for specific actions. I will certainly read your Comanche Polital History after I finish some other reading I cannot delay. But could you give some light on this, sparing me some time and taking advantage of this excellent site? Thankyou in advance
fernando: Please remember that Ferenbach did little or no original research for his book; it is, at best, merely a reworking of Rupert Richardson’s 1933 _Comanche Barrier to South Plains Settlement_ .
That said, the basic problem with Richardson (and thus Ferenbach), as well as Wallace and Hoebel (1952) and later Morris Foster (1991) is that they provide no data, no way to evaluate their positions. As I said in my book (p. 14-15):
“these are generalizations without particulars. Both Richardson and Foster claimed that the “chiefs” who signed treaties had no influence or authority beyond a specific diplomatic context, but they gave no supporting examples; without such references, their generalizations remain as untested hypotheses. At the same time, given that the historical documents often include specific details about the Comanche individuals involved in interactions, and that sets of documents show the continuities of specific individuals across time (table 1.2), the conclusions of Richardson and Foster raise the questions, in Foster’s terms, How are those individuals and their actions to be evaluated? Were they indeed little more than intermediaries with no political roles beyond the immediate interaction or were they political leaders whose influence extended across time and space? It would seem that if the former hypothesis were correct, then there should be a great many more such individuals named in the historical record than the relatively few we find, with the extreme case being that there should have been be a new “spokesman” for each incident in the 170 years of pre-reservation interaction. That there was not suggests some sort of selection process at work. Since there is no evidence that Euroamericans were doing the selecting, it must have been done by Comanches. At the same time, there is evidence from both ends of pre-reservation Comanche history, from the 1780s and from the 1870s, that many Comanche “spokesmen” were also political leaders both of local and of larger sociopolitical groups. Finally, in both Richardson’s and Foster’s approach there are unanswered questions. Richardson noted that “a treaty would be made . . . [with] a certain great chief” (1933:23); similarly, Foster argued that “some Comanche leaders were able to acquire a degree of authority that approximated control over a division” (1991:70). The questions are, first, the particulars: Which “great chief”? Which “Comanche leaders”? What “authority”? Are Richardson’s and Foster’s conclusions based on the generalization of historical materials or on theoretical preconceptions?"
Since they do not provide data, it must be conceded that those conclusions are based on preconceptions
Indeed, one of the purposes I had in writing the book was to provide the data upon which to base generalizations about Comanche “chiefs.” [One of the criticisms of the book was that it was *too* detailed in this regard.]
Again, that said: Yes, there were Comanche "chiefs"; just look at Ten Bears (Attocknie 2016).
Last Edit: Sept 3, 2016 18:16:54 GMT -5 by tkavanagh
Dr TKavanagh, recently finished Reading your excellent book " A Comanche history..." and I am rereading it as so much enjoyed your anthropological view of the People. I like the portrait of the book cover, "A mounted plain warrior in blue" by artista Richard Petri. It was certainly subtly elected, focussing his attire. May I ask what made you decide that particular portrait, as this young warrior could either be a Lipan, Kiowa-Apache or other from the Southeastern Plains. Thanks in advance.
Haa! and Ura: Thank you for your compliments. I am glad you like the book.
As for the ebitekwawap, blue warrior: it was a calculated choice, although you are the first to actually ask about it.
Yes, it *could* be attributed to those other Southern Plains tribes, but on what basis? None that I know of; certainly W.W. Newcomb in his bio of Petri (_German Artist on the Texas Frontier_) didn't give any basis for his attribution. So the question remains, Why would any of them be wearing blue paint?
On the other hand, we do have evidence for Numunuu wearing blue paint: On July 13, 1933, Post Oak Jim commented to the Field Party about returning war parties: "If there was no trouble, no enemy’s lives were taken, they just come home, with no excitement going on. If they have taken lives, they showed some excitement; they might have a Victory Dance. Most of the warriors would be painted with blue paint."
That's good enough for me.
Last Edit: Dec 31, 2016 19:00:02 GMT -5 by tkavanagh