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Final Installment in Comanche Exhibit Opens

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LAWTON, Okla_It was a homecoming of sorts for some very rare artifacts at the Comanche National Museum in Lawton on Thursday. 

It was the opening of the third and final installment of the current exhibit "All Things Comanche".

The museum welcomed home some very special items on loan from the Smithsonian. These items are over 100 years old, and many are returning to their land of origin for the very first time.

There have already been two previous installments to the exhibit but the executive director of the museum said they saved the very best for last.

McMahon Auditorium was filled with the sights and sounds of Comanche culture.

Tribal members from across the area and history buffs all vied for their glimpse at the special items on loan from the Smithsonian.

"I'm so proud and honored to be able to do this work for the Comanche people, as a Comanche tribal member. We don't always get the opportunity to go up to Washington DC to see these items so it's a great honor for me to be able to bring these home for our people, " said Museum Director, Phyllis Wahahrockah-Tasi.

Many of the items date back to the 1890s. They are now housed at the National Museum of the American Indian, but for a few months these relics are able to return to their land of origin.

"My most favorite object for the Comanche objects that we have in the museum in DC is the child's parka. It's made out of lynx. It's on display here and it still has the ears from the lynx on the hood. It's very special, " said Deputy Director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, Machel Monenerkit.

Other items on display include a ladies buck skin dress, a cradle board and even some rarely seen Comanche Code-Talker items.

Wahahrockah-Tasi said the best part of the day was the joy on everyone's faces. It wasn't just a homecoming for the items, for many it was an opportunity to be reunited to a piece of their past.

"We always have overwhelming community support from the Comanche people, so it was a great honor to be able to showcase these items, " said Wahahrockah-Tasi.

Wahahrockah-Tasi said the caliber of content in this exhibit is outstanding and really speaks to how far the museum has come in the past five years.

The final installment of the "All Things Comanche" exhibit will be on display through the end of August. Admission is free. 

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