Sunday, February 27, 2011


Apache (uh-PATCH-ee) When you hear the word Apache it conjures up thoughts of. There great chiefs like Geronimo, and Cochise. And the war like nature of the Apache. As most know, both Geronimo and Cochise. Fought to the bitter end. With the U.S. Calvary tricking Cochise. And having to strike a deal with Geronimo. The Apache got there name from the New Mexico Zuni tribe. The word they used was ' apachu', meaning enemy. Other names for the Apache were, Tineh, Tinde, Dini, Deman and Hasindayin, or 'the people'.

Here are a couple of my You Tube videos. That shows San Carlos dancers and Eldred Matt. Talking about his ancestors and lore.
Apache dancers

Eldred Matt

The Apache were nomadic people. With there range reaching from Arizona, Colorado, Texas, western Oklahoma, New Mexico and into northern Mexico. Before White came to the America's. The Apache broke off from Athapascans, of Canada. Another tribe to break off from the Athapascan were the Navajo.

There were several divisions of Apache. You had the; San Carlos, Aravaipa, White Mountain, Northern Tonto, Southern Tonto, Cibecue that lived in Arizona. The Chirichua and Mimbreno living in southern Arizona and New Mexico. The Mescalero in New Mexico and Mexico. Lipan in both Texas and Mexico. The Jicarilla in New Mexico and Colorado. With the Kiowa-Apache living in Oklahoma. Members of the different groups inter-married. Thus keeping the blood lines fresh. Instead of stagnating, which you see in other Americas and European cultures.

The Apache tribes were mainly nomadic hunters and gathers. Never learning to farm like other tribes of the southwest. They wore Deer skin clothing. And sometime cotton clothing. Which they would acquire on the raid on other tribes. Such as the Pueblo Indians of the southwest. They would also venture into Mexico and raid Mexican farmers. When you hear that the people of Mexico. Claim they are reclaiming there native lands. By crossing the borders into Arizona and New Mexico. That couldn't be farther from the truth. The Apache and other tribes occupied those territories, and not the Mexicans.

Some of the Apache groups like the Kiowa-Apache and Jicarilla Apache. Did take up farming that they learned from neighbouring tribes. Living on the plains of Texas and Oklahoma. The Lipan tribe learned to raise dogs for food. From the Mexicans of northern Mexico.

A common home for the Apache were Wickiups. They were constructed with poles and branches. Then covered with mud, for insulation from the elements. They were a doom looking structure. Because the Apache were so nomadic. This was all they needed for temporary shelters. The Jicarilla and Kiowa-Apache used a typical hide Tepee. Which they learned from the Plains Indians.

The Apache tribes made very little pottery. There nomadic live-style. Gave little "Time" to build the ovens to bake the pottery. They were instead wonderful basket weavers. There baskets came in many shape and sizes. With there constant movement. Woven baskets were a much better utensil for storage. They also had a musical instrument called the Apache Fiddle. It was made of yucca stalk and single string. Which was made from the fibers of the Yucca plant. They used a bow across the single string, to create the sound.

Like most Native American tribes. The Apache had Shamans for religious rituals. The Apache believed in many Supernatural Beings. Ussen was the giver of life. He was the most powerful of all the Supernatural Beings. The Gans or Mountain Spirits, brought agriculture to the Apache.

When the Apache first encountered the Spaniards and Whites. They were cordial to them. Thinking they were only on there way to some where else. Such as the Whites going to California for the gold. And the Spaniards looking for gold in the mountains of the southwest. That all changed as the Catholic Spaniards tried to turn the Apache into Christians. Then in-turn en-slave them for labor in the mines.

The Apache were constantly raiding the settlements of the Spaniards and Whites. America had taken the lands of the Apache. Away from the the Mexican government. But to the Apache this was still there territory. The southwest was flooded with troop after the settlement with the Mexican government. This started the Apache wars. With Apache leaders such as Geronimo and Cochise. The war with the White settlers involve all the Apache tribes. From Arizona too Oklahoma. Raiding parties were attacking the Whites. In 1871 a group of White settlers from Tucson. Massacred 100 innocent Arivaipa Apache. That mainly consisted of women and children. This caused Ulysses S. Grant to step in and create reservations. That would separate the White settlers away from the Apache. This how the idea of reservations for the Native Americans got started. I have written about the battles between the U.S. Calvary and the Apache. So enough said about those battles. Eventually most of the Apache tribes were relocated to reservation in either Florida and Oklahoma. Then in the early 1900s the Apache were allowed to return to the own reservations in Arizona, Oklahoma and New Mexico. There now is the White Mountain reservation and the San Carlos reservations in east-central Arizona. Fort Sill in Oklahoma, Jicarilla in Rio Arriba New Mexico. Mescalero Apache reservation in Otero county New Mexico.

"God" bless on this Sunday Evening. May you have sweet dreams with soft landings. bye

Today all is forgotten and the Apache of the southwest have become basicly White. They have the same drug, achohol, diet problems of there White neighbors.

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