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When a movie like “The Lone Ranger” comes along, you wonder if it will live up to the hype. It does, mostly. Wearing my hats as historian, western movie buff and business journalist, let me tell you why.
First, let’s talk about Tonto’s headpiece. The crow perched on his head may seem like a Hollywood take on Native dress. New Mexico’s tribes weren’t given to elaborate headdresses, but tribes of the Southern Plains were. In this movie, the setting is Texas, and Tonto is Comanche.
Listen to an eye-witness account of an attack by Comanches and their allies on a Spanish mission in 1758: “Besides the paint on their faces, red and black, they were adorned with the pelts and tails of wild beasts, wrapped around them or hanging down from their heads, as well as deer horns. Some were disguised as various kinds of animals, and some wore feather headdresses...”
This quote is from my new book, “I Fought a Good Fight: A History of the Lipan Apaches.” In the research I learned more than I thought possible about Texas history and the Apaches’ enemies, especially Comanches.
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