Opening day in Lawton
About half of the 10,000 Comanche in the United States reside in Oklahoma. Known as the “Lords of the Plains,” many Comanche call the rolling plains of Lawton their home.
On our first day of interviews, two Native American women visited the booth to record their lives and preserve their heritage.
The first, Weckeah Bradley, was one of the few Native American women to serve in the US Marine Corps during World War II. Now retired from the tribal judiciary, she makes traditional baby cradles for her friends and family.
Facilitator Andrew Wilson then interviewed Arlene Asenap, a descendant of Quanah Parker, the last Comanche chief.
Arlene’s grandfather, Herman, translated English to Comanche at a mission church for 24 years until his death in 1960. Herman is pictured here (far left) with his congregation.
Arlene explained in her interview that circumstances in the mid-twentieth century discouraged her from learning her people’s language. However, her grandfather passed on his native language to Arlene by reading her Comanche hymns when she was a little girl.