LAWTON (KFDX/KJTL) — The oldest and one of the last fluent Comanche speakers is celebrating her 102nd birthday.
During the 18th and 19th century the Comanche Indians roamed the southern Great Plains. Their language came from the northern branch of the Uto-Aztecan languages and is something not many know today.
In fact, Ana Tahmahkera or “Grandma Ana” as the tribe calls her, is one of the last fluent speakers of the Comanche language but she hopes others will learn the language someday.
“You could find one word and take it to work and practice it,” Tahmahkera said. “When you learn it then you teach your wife, Comanche.”
On Monday, many came together to celebrate Grandma Ana as she was celebrating a big milestone in her life.
“We are excited to celebrate grandma ana,” CEO of Comanche Nation Casino Mia Tahdooahnippah said. “She is the oldest living Comanche tribal member. She just turned 102 and so we are really excited to be able to celebrate today with her.”
Something Tahdooahnippah said is special.
“Not very often does anybody live to be 102,” Tahdooahnippah said. “Just being able to celebrate that and you can see what great health she is in. She loves to get out and she’s truly somebody personally I look up to her as a woman and love to admire who she is.”
Honoring a woman who holds a significant part of the Comanche nation’s history, its language.
Grandma Ana received a balloon, birthday cake, and several gifts including $102 in Comanche credit.