Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Ride The Wind - Lucia St Clair Robson
In 1836, when she was nine years old, Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanche Indians. This is the story of how she grew up with them, mastered their ways, married one of their leaders, and became, in every way, a Comanche woman. It is also the story of a proud and innocent people whose lives pulsed with the very heartbeat of the land. It is the story of a way of life that is gone forever....
Ride the Wind is not an easy read! Lucia St Clair Robson does know how to write a good story and she keeps us enthralled till the end in the story based on the true facts known of the life of Cynthia Ann Parker.
Cynthia Ann's story is unique because she was adopted by the tribe, raised by them, married one of the last great Comanche chief's and ended up feeling her rescue was another kidnapping of sorts that kept her away from the people she loved. It's an emotional journey to follow Cynthia Ann from the time she is taken to her new family, through her acceptance of her way of life, the knowledge that other captives weren't treated like her and her identification as a true Comanche, an important member of their society in her own right. No doubt Robson took many liberties with Cynthia Ann's story to fill in the blanks but the result feels real and moving.
The books gives very interesting details of the Comanche culture and society. It is hard to reconcile the People's behaviour towards their own and the children they adopted and the way they treated the older ones who became slaves. How they understood and respected nature with their savagery in battle and towards their prisoners. It's a culture oriented towards warfare as being a great warrior was what men aspired to be and in a period where the clashes with the new settlers in Texas were growing violence and death were very much an every day ocurrence. But their organised society and bigger respect for nature makes wonder what we could have learned from their way of life.
A must read for every person interested in native americans and the history of Texas.