By Elizabeth Parrish
SAN MARCOS — A Land Without Borders: The Comanche Range is a new exhibit on display exploring the relationship between the Comanche and their impact on the history of the Southwest.
Pieced together by a team of eleven history graduate students as part of a semester-long team project, the exhibit is designed to provide the public an opportunity to take a closer look at Comanche life. It is based on research by Joaquin Rivaya-Martinez, professor of Southwest Studies at Texas State University.
Rivaya said he wants to expand the exhibit into an online, interactive database that would be accessible to the public.
“People will ideally have free access which will show the different places where Comanche were at different times for different purposes so that, by clicking on an icon, you can know, for instance, who was there, when and what for,” Rivaya said. “Along with that type of information, we can incorporate perhaps biographies of individual characters that are relevant in the story, pictures of places, and perhaps even recordings of Comanche traditions.”
Kristine Robb, the graduate student in charge of the overall design, says she hopes that the exhibit will show how important the Comanche were in shaping the history of Texas.
“American Indian history, especially in Texas, is extremely underrepresented. The Comanche, one of the groups in Texas, at their peak, were one of the biggest populations in the state, and now they don’t exist in the state at all,” said Robb.
The only remaining Comanche reservation is in Lawton, Oklahoma.
“There are only three tribes that still exist in Texas,” Robb said. “And they’re relegated to extremely small pieces of land. But a lot of people don’t realize that or know it. It’s something that gets glossed over in Texas history fairly often.”
The exhibit is located in Brazos Hall and will be on display until May tenth, 2017.
Featured image by Elizabeth Parrish