Comanche Marker Tree Installation Set for Saturday, September 26
Published September 18, 2020 By QUANAH TRIBUNE-CHIEF
The Quanah Parker Society and Center, in coordination with the Treemendous Quanah Initiative of the E. Eugene Johnson Memorial Foundation, is excited to announce the upcoming planting and dedication of two new Indian marker trees in Quanah and at Medicine Mound.
The first tree will be installed and dedicated in the park across the street from the Hardeman County Historical Museum (QA&P) and is scheduled to take place on Saturday, September 26, 2020, at 1:30 PM. The second tree planting and dedication will follow at the Downtown Medicine Mound Museum.
Anyone interested in attending is welcome, and appropriate mask-wearing and social-distancing is expected. Each dedication will include a Cedar blessing and drum music led by Ron Parker, great-grandson of Quanah Parker and founder of the Quanah Parker Society. Also in attendance will be certified arborist Steve Houser who is the chairperson of the Indian Marker Tree Committee with the Texas Historic Tree Coalition. Each of the trees are being placed to mark areas of significance to Quanah Parker and to the Comanche people in this area. More information about the marked locations will be provided at the event.
For those unfamiliar with Indian marker trees, in the book Comanche Marker Trees of Texas, which Houser co-authored, he states that they were "used to guide American Indians to sources of water, good places to cross rivers, campsites, and other important natural features." Houser describes them as being similar in many ways to modern signs along roads and highways to those who know what they mean. What is a predominant feature of Indian Marker Trees, though not in all cases according to Houser, is that they were bent trees, which were typically tied down "to turn tree growth in the desired direction or coax it into the desired shape."
The intent with the new marker trees being planted this month will be that, over time, they will be tied down to point in specific directions. Parker and the Quanah Parker Society will be overseeing the growth of the new trees and will consult with Houser to provide guidance on the progress of the trees to ensure they maintain healthy growth while being bent.
The Quanah Parker Society has been founded to fulfill Parker's vision to promote the history and cultures of the Comanche people and the settlers who founded Quanah. The Society's mission is to educate, heal, unite, and grow communities who share or are invested in the history and lineages of the Comanche people, the role of the Quanah, Texas area and the courageous settlers who came with a vision and intention to create Quanah.
It is with this vision and mission in mind that the Quanah Parker Society hopes these new marker trees will not only be placed to mark their intended areas of significance, but they will also serve as important educational opportunities for individuals to learn about Indian marker trees. The Society intends to document their growth and provide ongoing information about the steps taken and phases of the bending process. These trees will stand for years and decades to come as both reminders of the locations they mark as well as important cultural artifacts themselves that will bring visitors to appreciate and enjoy their unique importance and design.
More information about the Quanah Parker Society is available at quanahparker.org, and more information about the Texas Historic Tree Coalition is available at txhtc.org.