The Destruction of the Apaches
The Apaches began to move. Some bands, hoping to get away from the reach of the Utes and Comanches, headed south into the region of present-day West Texas. The residents there, most notably the Jumanos, scattered before this new invasion. Those not captured and absorbed by the newly arriving Apaches fled south toward Spanish settlements where they sought protection, and assimilation, as an alternative to extermination.The Comanches pursued the Apaches, savaging them in 1724 in a ferocious, nine-day spasm of destruction that destroyed Apache villages along the Wichita River in present-day North Texas.The Comanches would continue this war for the next 150 years, and the Apaches fragmented under this pressure. The Mescaleros and Jicarillas headed into the valley of the Pecos River or into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and sought to find shelter and protection from their proximity to Spanish interests. Others fled northeast to the protection of the Kiowas. The Natagés fell back onto the High Plains and Rolling Plains of present-day West Texas before also heading west toward their kinsmen and south and deeper into Mexico. The Ypanes (Lipans), having scattered the Jumanos ahead of them, headed deep into the interior of New Spain, settling their villages in the valley of the San Saba, Llano, Pedernales, and Medina rivers. These displaced peoples began to raid newly established settlements in Tejas to recoup their losses in material goods and livestock.Now, amid the great ocean of grassland, the Comanches began to see opportunities for new and potentially more lucrative economic pursuits. Not only did their horses thrive and multiply in the country taken from the Apaches, but buffalo abounded. Comanches also discovered the farming Taovayas, a Wichita people, the wandering Tonkawas, and the forest dwelling Hasinais, of the Caddo Confederacy, all of whom traded with the French. Having already established markets in New Mexico, the Numunu now became plains traders and crafted a commercial niche that exploited the economic spheres of both European rivals.
Using diplomacy, trade, and violence, the Numunu elbowed all of their Indian rivals out of the South Plains while making new alliances to served their purposes. The Spanish dubbed this region Comancheria; it was The Comanche Empire–Numunu Sookobitu.