History ETDs

Publication Date

Fall 11-11-2016



In my dissertation, “God Dogs and Education: Comanche Traditional Cultural Innovation and Three Generations of Tippeconnic Men,” addresses two interconnected themes: it provides a biography of three generations of Comanche men, Tippeconnic, John Tippeconnic and Norman Tippeconnic, and it offers an examination of the Comanche cultural principles, or ethos, that guided each of them through three different historical eras in the years, 1852-1987. In this research I examine the transition that Comanche people made from their origins as Shoshone people to a distinct group that controlled the majority of the southern plains. I argue that that the Comanche ethos enabled our people to become the dominant plains horse culture. I also argue that it was this cultural ethos that provided the Comanche with the ability to deal with the involuntary changes impressed upon them as their way of life on the plains ended and the reservation period began following the Red River War. I contend that the Comanche ethos was ingrained in most aspects of rearing children. Further, I explore the methods Comanche people utilized to instill this ethos in their children. This dissertation argues that the transmission of cultural values survived another involuntary transition in the early twentieth century as the Comanche reservation was broken up into allotments. I explore the lives of three generation of Comanche men, Tippeconnic, John Tippeconnic and Norman Tippeconnic whose lives spanned the pre reservation era, the reservation era, the allotment era and the post allotment era. In addition, this dissertation explores the methods in which pre reservation Comanche men achieved social status and contends that the horse was the primary vehicle for both the transference of the Comanche ethos and the method to attain social status. The areas of critical examination include the aforementioned historical periods but also the adoption of western based education. My primary argument is that John Tippeconnic was able to successfully shift the method whereby Comanche men could achieve social recognition and prestige in the twentieth century to education due to the Comanche ethos.

Level of Degree


Degree Name


Department Name


First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Margaret Connell-Szasz

Second Committee Member

Dr. Jennifer Denetdale

Third Committee Member

Dr. Durwood Ball

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Sam Truett




Comanche, numunu, education, Tippeconnic, Oklahoma, New Mexico

Document Type


Included in

History Commons