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#1 Sep 25, 2010
Having graduated from QHS in '61 and living elsewhere in Texas since, I do not get back as often as I would like, but I have a question concerning the use of the word PUHA. What does it mean? Is it a Comanche phrase? I believe the use of the word started in the late 60's but if I ever heard the definition, I've forgotten what it was. I've stumbled on topix by accident and read it every few days. Some of the entries are embarrassing, degrading, and serve no purpose but it is a free country; others seemed tuned to trying to improve the city and are commendable for attempting to get people motivated to do something. Anyway, if someone would give me the definition of PUHA I would appreciate it.
PUHA

Quanah, TX

#2 Sep 25, 2010
power (puha) could be obtained from the spirit world and could be shared with a small group of others. The two broad kinds of power were protection in war and curing

EX: This is a Comanche thing. Quanah Parker was the greatest Comanche Chief. He never lost a battle because he had PUHA
eye yi yi

Quanah, TX

#3 Sep 25, 2010
puha is comanche meaning power
DHT

United States

#4 Sep 25, 2010
Well folks after we moved to Quanah I saw the word PUHA adorning cars and billboards. I wondered why this was so I asked a woman what she thought the word meant. She said it's Comanche and means "power." I explained to her that it doesn't mean "power" in fact it has a very different meaning. In some contexts it's means spirit (as in bad) and other contexts it means "witch." I wrote a letter to the editor explaining this in a very nice way. It did no good as people have decided to believe what they want to believe.

I have a Numunu (What the Comanches call themselves) dictionary written by the Numunu which I'm willing to share with whomever wants to look at it. This is a case of why people need to stick with what they know, use the languages they know. So often people use NDN words thinking they mean one thing when they mean something totally different.

I enjoy attending the football games BUT will neither scream PUHA, do the tomahawk chop or any other derogatory act. BTW who had the "bright" idea to slap themselves in the mouth and make that obnoxious noise? Just noticed that for the first time this year.
aint major

Quanah, TX

#5 Sep 25, 2010
DHT wrote:
Well folks after we moved to Quanah I saw the word PUHA adorning cars and billboards. I wondered why this was so I asked a woman what she thought the word meant. She said it's Comanche and means "power." I explained to her that it doesn't mean "power" in fact it has a very different meaning. In some contexts it's means spirit (as in bad) and other contexts it means "witch." I wrote a letter to the editor explaining this in a very nice way. It did no good as people have decided to believe what they want to believe.
I have a Numunu (What the Comanches call themselves) dictionary written by the Numunu which I'm willing to share with whomever wants to look at it. This is a case of why people need to stick with what they know, use the languages they know. So often people use NDN words thinking they mean one thing when they mean something totally different.
I enjoy attending the football games BUT will neither scream PUHA, do the tomahawk chop or any other derogatory act. BTW who had the "bright" idea to slap themselves in the mouth and make that obnoxious noise? Just noticed that for the first time this year.
Lighten up! Let the fans enjoy themselfs!

Since: Aug 10

Waterloo, Canada

#6 Sep 25, 2010
The Comanche Indians did not have a great many religious ceremonies celebrated throughout the year. The most important ceremony in a man's life was his vision quest. A boy would prepare for days and would be cleansed physically and spiritually. Afterwards he would find a secluded place to meditate and pray for days to see his vision. Often it would come in the shape of an animal or being. If a boy did not succeed the first time, he would try again until he could return to the village as a man. This was the first time a boy would witness "puha" or power. Note the LAST sentence. The source I got this from is mnsu.edu . I spent about an hour searching for something on the net with a mention of "Puha" and it meaning, fully prepared to post whatever I found, even if it meant we were wrong all the years we've screamed puha at football games. So, there is much information and history about the Comanche people online if you are interested in learning! Happy reading!
godfather

Wichita Falls, TX

#7 Sep 25, 2010
DHT wrote:
Well folks after we moved to Quanah I saw the word PUHA adorning cars and billboards. I wondered why this was so I asked a woman what she thought the word meant. She said it's Comanche and means "power." I explained to her that it doesn't mean "power" in fact it has a very different meaning. In some contexts it's means spirit (as in bad) and other contexts it means "witch." I wrote a letter to the editor explaining this in a very nice way. It did no good as people have decided to believe what they want to believe.
I have a Numunu (What the Comanches call themselves) dictionary written by the Numunu which I'm willing to share with whomever wants to look at it. This is a case of why people need to stick with what they know, use the languages they know. So often people use NDN words thinking they mean one thing when they mean something totally different.
I enjoy attending the football games BUT will neither scream PUHA, do the tomahawk chop or any other derogatory act. BTW who had the "bright" idea to slap themselves in the mouth and make that obnoxious noise? Just noticed that for the first time this year.
Speaking as a real indian, I do not find these actions derogatory. U should stick to what u know and leave Comanche and Quanah Indians alone. U might get scalped or "chopped". I remember that letter to the editor and folks saying "who is this idiot". I passed it off as newcomer ignorance. Enuff said.
Q-town

United States

#8 Sep 25, 2010
PUHA was started in the 80's and it's meaning is supernatural powers....
DHT

United States

#9 Sep 25, 2010
redneckgoddess wrote:
The Comanche Indians did not have a great many religious ceremonies celebrated throughout the year. The most important ceremony in a man's life was his vision quest. A boy would prepare for days and would be cleansed physically and spiritually. Afterwards he would find a secluded place to meditate and pray for days to see his vision. Often it would come in the shape of an animal or being. If a boy did not succeed the first time, he would try again until he could return to the village as a man. This was the first time a boy would witness "puha" or power. Note the LAST sentence. The source I got this from is mnsu.edu . I spent about an hour searching for something on the net with a mention of "Puha" and it meaning, fully prepared to post whatever I found, even if it meant we were wrong all the years we've screamed puha at football games. So, there is much information and history about the Comanche people online if you are interested in learning! Happy reading!
The Numunu have many ceremonies that you will NEVER find on the internet. Non-Indians gain a small amount of knowledge and try to make a profit off of that. Cultural theft still happens today. Certain things are not meant for non-natives. If you are interested in the Comanche culture I suggest you attend the Fair next weekend. There are a few people that might be willing to share some history with you if you ask. I'm not certain why a college in Mankato would be considered an authority on the Comanche. I can think of 20 more appropriate ones that aren't internet related.
DHT

United States

#10 Sep 25, 2010
godfather wrote:
<quoted text>Speaking as a real indian, I do not find these actions derogatory. U should stick to what u know and leave Comanche and Quanah Indians alone. U might get scalped or "chopped". I remember that letter to the editor and folks saying "who is this idiot". I passed it off as newcomer ignorance. Enuff said.
I did stick to what I know. I always do. BTW scalping was a tradition among the French, interesting that you would post that. If I am guilty of "newcomer ignorance" by sharing what the Comanche say the word means, then you must be guilty of oldtimer arrogance.
DHT

United States

#11 Sep 25, 2010
DHT wrote:
<quoted text>
The Numunu have many ceremonies that you will NEVER find on the internet. Non-Indians gain a small amount of knowledge and try to make a profit off of that. Cultural theft still happens today. Certain things are not meant for non-natives. If you are interested in the Comanche culture I suggest you attend the Fair next weekend. There are a few people that might be willing to share some history with you if you ask. I'm not certain why a college in Mankato would be considered an authority on the Comanche. I can think of 20 more appropriate ones that aren't internet related.
For the sake of clarification I'm not suggesting that you would abuse any knowledge you got. Figured the way this forum flows somedays, someone would jump on that and read extra into it. BTW the Fair would be great for kids too. Lots to see and do and the frybread is the best.
INDIAN FAN

Nicholasville, KY

#12 Sep 25, 2010
well if ya google it.....it's an herb lol so DHT you are WRONG also! But I will stick to tradition, and YELL PUHA (when I can) and do the CHOP to the WAR CHANT! Once an Indian ALWAYS an Indian.

Since: Aug 10

Waterloo, Canada

#13 Sep 25, 2010
DHT wrote:
<quoted text>
The Numunu have many ceremonies that you will NEVER find on the internet. Non-Indians gain a small amount of knowledge and try to make a profit off of that. Cultural theft still happens today. Certain things are not meant for non-natives. If you are interested in the Comanche culture I suggest you attend the Fair next weekend. There are a few people that might be willing to share some history with you if you ask. I'm not certain why a college in Mankato would be considered an authority on the Comanche. I can think of 20 more appropriate ones that aren't internet related.
. I don't remember where in my post I said this college was the "authority". My great grandfather was 100% Comanche. I do not claim to be neither a native nor an expert. I think it's ludicrous for you to put yourself on a pedestal and cry out "cultural theft" because local football fans make chopping motions and cry out "PUHA" at games and pep rallies! If it IS that offensive to the Comanche people, then I am most certain their tribal council would have, at the very least, written a letter describing the personal injury that Quanah football fans were inflicting upon them with their "misguided" team spirit. As it is, I'm sure they have more important matters to attend to. I'm also pretty sure that, in our neck of the woods, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone without at least a little Native American heritage somewhere in their family tree. I simply quoted ONE of the many things I found in my search, never did I make the claim that the writer of said essay, or myself, was an expert in the subject, and I'd be lying if I claimed either! My advice to you, Oh Annointed Voice of the Comanche Nation, would be to take your issue with PUHA and Quanah's particular brand of team spirit with the school board, or perhaps city council, however, given the state of Quanah itself, I'm sure there are more important matters at hand.

Since: Aug 10

Waterloo, Canada

#14 Sep 25, 2010
DHT, I apologize for the sarcastic tone of my last post, I don't know you, and that was not very Christian of me! My husband recently left for Iraq and I have been rather cantankerous lately. I sincerely apologize for any offense.
lace

Graham, TX

#15 Sep 26, 2010
DHT needs to eat some eggs in the morning cause i think someone peed in his cheerios...lol! i'm not gonna take heritage away from anyone, but 'puha' is a part of quanah...reguardless of what it means. the 'chopping' chant has been going for years and has become a part of quanah indian football. some people don't beleive in trick or treating because it's "evil"...witches and worshiping the devil may be...but not dressing up as a princess to get candy. my point is...it's what you make of it. the majority of fans only know the word...they don't know the history, but it has become a part of this community...let it be just that.
smiley

Wichita Falls, TX

#16 Sep 26, 2010
DHT wrote:
<quoted text>
For the sake of clarification I'm not suggesting that you would abuse any knowledge you got. Figured the way this forum flows somedays, someone would jump on that and read extra into it. BTW the Fair would be great for kids too. Lots to see and do and the frybread is the best.
Where is this taking place.
fancyiris

Brentwood, CA

#17 Sep 26, 2010
PUHA was started in the 1980's by the cheerleaders of that time. It was a way to energize the fans and players. It was something that caught on with everyone. It doesn't matter what people think it means.....Don't make more out of it than is meant to be. I can remember when it started; cheerleaders, fans old and young waved their hands yelling PUHA. What great times. What I remember it meaning was Indian Spirit which is what the Quanah Indians and their supporters were showing INDIAN SPIRIT! lIGHTEN UP
DHT

United States

#18 Sep 26, 2010
redneckgoddess wrote:
<quoted text>. I don't remember where in my post I said this college was the "authority". My great grandfather was 100% Comanche. I do not claim to be neither a native nor an expert. I think it's ludicrous for you to put yourself on a pedestal and cry out "cultural theft" because local football fans make chopping motions and cry out "PUHA" at games and pep rallies! If it IS that offensive to the Comanche people, then I am most certain their tribal council would have, at the very least, written a letter describing the personal injury that Quanah football fans were inflicting upon them with their "misguided" team spirit. As it is, I'm sure they have more important matters to attend to. I'm also pretty sure that, in our neck of the woods, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone without at least a little Native American heritage somewhere in their family tree. I simply quoted ONE of the many things I found in my search, never did I make the claim that the writer of said essay, or myself, was an expert in the subject, and I'd be lying if I claimed either! My advice to you, Oh Annointed Voice of the Comanche Nation, would be to take your issue with PUHA and Quanah's particular brand of team spirit with the school board, or perhaps city council, however, given the state of Quanah itself, I'm sure there are more important matters at hand.
Okie dokie. I simply posted what I know the word to mean. What my friends and relatives know the word to mean. I am NOT telling anyone what to do or not to do. I am NOT attacking or trying to change anyone. I have NEVER claimed to be the annointed voice of the Comanche Nation or anyone else. Clearly there is NO point in discussing this further with you.
DHT

United States

#19 Sep 26, 2010
smiley wrote:
<quoted text>Where is this taking place.
At the Comanche Nation Complex in Lawton. You can find all the info you need on the website (google Comanche Nation). There are lots of things to see and do and the complex is close to the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge. If you have children a drive through the refuge will allow them to see free roaming Buffalo and Longhorns and maybe some Elk.
DHT

United States

#20 Sep 26, 2010
lace wrote:
DHT needs to eat some eggs in the morning cause i think someone peed in his cheerios...lol! i'm not gonna take heritage away from anyone, but 'puha' is a part of quanah...reguardless of what it means. the 'chopping' chant has been going for years and has become a part of quanah indian football. some people don't beleive in trick or treating because it's "evil"...witches and worshiping the devil may be...but not dressing up as a princess to get candy. my point is...it's what you make of it. the majority of fans only know the word...they don't know the history, but it has become a part of this community...let it be just that.
LOL I'm NOT trying to change anyone or stop anyone from doing anything. I simply stated what I know and what I won't do.

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