The map above details the land dominated by the Numunuh. Over 250,000 sq. miles of rising hills and mountains, plains and rivers where the Buffalo and the Antelope roamed free without fence nor enclosure. This is the place that the Tribe called home.
This is possibly the largest area of land claimed and defended by any Indian Nation, this wide expanse of land was bounded by the Arkansas River in southern Colorado to the north and extended to the Rio Grande to the south part of Texas, Parts of Kansas and New Mexico and Oklahoma were all part of the area.
Our neighbors the Kiowa also shared this land after peace was made in the early 1800's. Sometimes our peoples would camp together.
To the North were the Cheyenne and Arapaho, to the South were the Karankawa and Pueblo Peoples. To the West were the Apache and Navajo and Ute. To the East were the Wichita and Caddo and Tonkawa.
To visit the area without being invited was an act of war. Tribes that tried to enter the land were found and battles were fought where the people would drive their enemies out.
Our Horsemen were the supreme light calvary in the world, through much practice he could sweep down on an enemy by hanging underneath a horse, a near impossible target to hit.
A war shield sometimes draped on the opposite side protected horse and rider from being hurt as war was being waged.
The speed at which a warrior could fire arrows was amazing, from underneath the neck of a horse or over the horses back he could shoot at a very rapid rate.
They really could do feats of horsemanship that put circus performers to shame.
Warriors often could capture enemies by swooping down on them without breaking stride, and grab them off their feet and put them on the horse with them, the speed in which this took place could be likened to the Eagle swooping down on it's prey.
This land was defended and reigned over for many many years, any tribe who dared challenged them was quickly defeated. The Numu fought virtually everyone in the plains and very rarely suffered defeat.
Most battles fought were over the theft of horses, or a revenge raid for the killing of a loved one. War Parties were known to travel many hundreds of miles, and the distance that they would go was truly a feat in it's own regard.
The people were superior horse breeders and were experts at capturing and taming Mustangs.
Warriors would select the finest among the herds and they were famous for their hardy nature and their ability to perform as excellent war mounts.
War Parties would sometimes raid as far as 700 miles deep into the heart of Mexico and return home with wild horses and many goods. The tribe were probably the most wealthy on the Great Plains due to the amount of ponies.
Some warriors are said to have 3000 or more ponies to his name. They also supplied the other tribes with horses, even their enemies.
The Crow has stories from long ago about how they acquired the horse from the Numunuh, which in turn traded them in the northern plains.
The people were really one of the few tribes who bred horses, Paints and Pintos fleet of foot and quicker than any other ponies. A source of wealth and honor was their mounts, and to show the love for their steeds, men would often risk their life to save them from harm.
In this wide expanse of land of mountains and hills, rivers and plains the Buffalo, Antelope and Bear were found. The Wolf was once common place to see, but soon after the white man entered many of God's creatures were almost wiped from existence.
The Lighthouse - Palo Duro Canyon
In the winter time the different bands would sometimes gather in Palo Duro and Blanco Canyons to camp together and hunt.
Palo Duro is the second largest canyon on the continent, sometimes called the Grand Canyon of Texas. This was a place of peace and was secure from enemies on the Llano Estacado, where the wind blows constantly, and during the winter it is deathly cold on the Caprock.
In the far west of the Llano Estacado is a place called Monument Springs New Mexico, it is a known place for Indians to make arrows and hunt Antelope.
Another place that is known where the people went to gather the flint necessary for arroheads is the Alibates Flint Quarry north of Amarillo Texas, this is a beautiful place and tours are given where you can see the places where the people found the finest flint.
The wooded lands to the east were a favorite place to camp in the spring and summer where the warm wind would blow from the west and warm the land.
The Buffalo roamed in the millions in this land, and the deer and antelope were plentiful. When a successful hunt had been made the people gave thanks to the Father for the bounty, and sang and danced rejoicing in the great fortune the land had provided for the people.
Fruit and nuts such as chokecherries and pecans were plentiful, plums and other fruit would be mixed with Buffalo meat and pounded into a form of jerky sometimes known as pemican.
Wild Potato known as yampa was used to make food such as bread and used in stew.
Many of the herbs and cactus found in the area had medicinal use, such as the prickly pear leaves would sometimes make a good bandage and was soothing to deep cuts and made the healing of the skin easier.
Juice from the cactus would help to keep infection down in a wound. Mesquite Beans were sometimes used to heal problems with the digestive tract. Certain roots of different plants and herbs were used in conjuction with each other to promote the healing for any number of sickness or injuries.
Peyote Cactus was also a very important medicine for many tribes, it has been known to cure illness such as high fever and is reported to have over 600 different natural chemicals and is considered one of the most complex of all plants by the scientific community.
Peyote was also used in later times by the Native American Church as a sacrement, and is considered by many tribes to be a sacred plant.
Sometimes items such as ground up rattlesnake rattles were used to ease the birthing process in women in hard delivery. There are many types of medicines used, some have yet to be explored by modern science for the value.
The people are tied to the land, and was able to live in the places that are still uninhabited to this day. This place was once called the Great American Desert, and where little water was available and food seemed scarce, the people prospered well.
The beauty of the canyon's with its myriad of colors dancing on the walls, and the vastness of the Llano Estacado, furnished the people with the things they needed to survive. What the white man called wild and untamed our people called home.
The Numunuh were the last free Natives in the region after all the other tribes had vacated the land to the reservations that had been established. For a decade after most bands had submitted to the government, the people continued to live free, and hunt in our homeland.