Comancheria – et steppeimperium.

Comanche_Feats_of_Horsemanship-George_Catlin

Comanche Feats of Horsemanship, malt av George Catlin, 1834-35. Foto: Wikicommons

I Foreign Policy stiller Thomas E. Ricks spørsmålet: «Were the Comanches stronger than the U.S. military in the early 19th century?»

Problemstillingen kan kanskje virke litt uvant på oss i dag, men historikeren Pekka Hämäläinen har beskrevet comanchenes maktbase som et slags «steppeimperium» fra cirka 1750 (om ikke tidligere) til 1850.

Dette kartet markerer comanchenes territorium + regionen de pleide å raide i Mexico:

Comancheria-Carte-2

Fra forlaget Yale University Press egenpresentasjon av Hämäläinens bok The Comanche Empire:

In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, a Native American empire rose to dominate the fiercely contested lands of the American Southwest, the southern Great Plains, and northern Mexico. This powerful empire, built by the Comanche Indians, eclipsed its various European rivals in military prowess, political prestige, economic power, commercial reach, and cultural influence. Yet, until now, the Comanche empire has gone unrecognized in American history.

… uncovers the lost story of the Comanches. It is a story that challenges the idea of indigenous peoples as victims of European expansion and offers a new model for the history of colonial expansion, colonial frontiers, and Native-European relations in North America and elsewhere.
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