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And the West is History: Comanche Peacemaker - 1977

During the 18th century, the Ute and Comanche tribes were intermittently in conflict. With increasing Spanish presence in that century in what today is New Mexico, their relationship became more complex. By the 1780s, the three entities were actively involved in peace negotiations. Unfortunately, the Utes and Comanches were unable to complete the treaty. They tried again in 1870 but this attempt was not finalized, either. They remained symbolic adversaries for another century. In the 1970s, peace negotiations were once again resumed. In July 1977 in a four-day ceremonial and powwow, the tribes came together on the Southern Ute reservation in Ignacio and signed a treaty of peace. This photograph taken by Durango Herald staffer Norval Pollard documents the event showing famous Comanche war dancer George Woodgee Watchataker celebrating the final agreement. This exceptional photograph is also historic in that it was the first color picture to ever appear in the then 96-year-old newspaper. – Ed Horvat for Animas Museum, edhorvat@animasmuseum.org (Photo from The Durango Herald Collection)
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