Qanah

Ben Tahmahkera family collection at the Quanah and Cynthia Parker exhibit.

Memoriam all around the four walls, Comanche Warrior suits and weapons modeled in glass cases, and the life of Quanah and Cynthia Parker was a sight to see as I walked into the exhibit.

The breast plate of Quanah Parker, beaded with red and yellow embroidery, captured my eyes. I could vividly picture Quanah walking across the hall inviting me into his family’s history. I just knew I was in for a tremendous trip in history.

After taking a trip to the Fort Worth Central Library to visit the Quanah and Cynthia Parker exhibit, I found myself intrigued and more knowledgeable about the Comanche Indians.

I had no clue who exactly Quanah and Cynthia Parker were until I set foot in the building. All I could see was artifacts, pictures and apparel emulating their overall history. Their history is most important to me because most of it took place in Texas and Oklahoma.

For those who don’t know, Quanah Parker was a Comanche chief and the last leader of the Quahadi band (Comanche warriors). He led his people on their reservation and became a wealthy rancher and an influential person in Comanche and European societies.

His mother, Cynthia Parker, was a European woman who was a part of a large frontier family in Texas. She was kidnapped once as a child by Comanches during the attack of her family’s fort (Fort Parker) near Groesbeck, Texas. This was exciting to me because I have family from there, and we have roots that proclaim our Native American heritage. It’s amazing what you can find out by going to visit exhibits nearby.

Cynthia Parker was adopted into the Nocona band of Comanches and later married Chief Peta Nocona. Their first child was Quanah Parker, and later the two had another son and a daughter.

On the site of the exhibit were pictures of Quanah’s tribe and of his life and his mother Cynthia. The room was completely filled with glass cases at each corner holding articles of clothing and utensils from Quanah and the Comanches.

Visiting this exhibit made me realize how important these people are to our history, and it makes me want to research my own ancestry and see who I could possibly be related to.

If any student is as interested in history as I am, this exhibit is a perfect place to visit. The Fort Worth Central Library is located on 500 West 3rd Street in downtown Fort Worth. The exhibit is at the library until Dec.20.

-Rolandra West

rdwest@txwes.edu

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