This is the great Native American chief
Quanah Parker (c.1850-1911), called the
Eagle of the Comanche. He is standing on
the earth, solidly grounded, with his moc-
casin laces spreading out like the roots of a
tree. Yet his mind soars into the clouds like
the hawk in the sky. His first name, Quanah,
means “fragrant” in the Comanche language
and his second name, Parker, comes from
his mother Cynthia Ann Parker. She was a
white woman from a prominent Texas
family, who was captured as a child and
grew up in the Comanche tribe. Cynthia Ann
Parker married Chief Peta Nocona and had
two children, Quanah and his sister, Prairie
Flower. Quanah Parker, who was born about
1850, became the last great Chief of the
Comanche. He never lost a single battle to
the white settlers nor did the Army ever
take him captive. Eventually, when the buf-
falo herds were diminishing and the number
of white settlers increasing, he realized
there was no alternative and led his tribe
onto a reservation. Adopting a policy of
assimilation, he encouraged self-sufficiency,
work, and education for his tribe. Quanah
Parker also learned English and lobbied
Congress on behalf of the rights of the
Comanche. He negotiated grazing lands with
cattlemen, became a reservation judge, an
investor in a railroad, and a friend of Theo-
dore Roosevelt. Yet with all of this, he still
retained the Native American spiritual tradi-
tions and never cut his braids.
Oil on canvas, 60 x 45 in.
and also as an
Archival print available in multiple sizes