LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -They're known as the "lords of the plains," and the story of the Comanche tribe is on grand display at the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center in Lawton.
Located off Northwest Ferris Avenue in central Lawton, the magnificent Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center is the product of years of planning, dreaming and development. The museum's education and public programs manager, Candy Morgan, explained all of the work it took.
"Back in the 70s, the tribal members wanted a place they could call their own, but it took a while to find the right place. In the 2000s, this was the site of the National Percussive Arts Museum, and when they moved out, it brought up the opportunity for the tribe to work out a long-term lease with the City of Lawton and we moved in and have been in Elmer Thomas Park since 2007," Morgan explained.
There are some 3,000 objects on display, such as this painted bison skull, which is the work of famed artist Doc Tate Nevaquaya.
You'll find the most comprehensive collection of Comanche artwork in the world, 400 pieces, including paintings, sculptures and drawings. The permanent exhibits feature the tribe's resilience through their transition to the reservation era in the 1800s, the role that religion plays in the Comanche way of life and the heroic accounts of 20th century tribal warriors, whose work was instrumental in winning world war two.
"You're going to find everything about Comanche history and culture. We touch on language. We talk about the Comanche Code Talkers. This is our chance to tell the Comanche story from the Comanche perspective," Morgan said.
The museum offers group tours, as well as classroom outreach programs, as a way to allow visitors to have a more personal experience with Comanche culture; just contact the museum to arrange one. Admission is free.
The museum is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.