Apache (/əˈpætʃiː/; French: [a.paʃ]) are a group of
culturally related Native American tribes in the Southwestern United
States, which include the Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Lipan, Mescalero,
Salinero, Plains and Western Apache. Distant cousins of the
the Navajo, with which they share the Southern
Apache communities in Oklahoma, Texas, and on reservations
Arizona and New Mexico.
Apache people have moved throughout the
United States and elsewhere, including urban centers. The Apache
Nations are politically autonomous, speak several different languages
and have distinct cultures.
Apache homelands have consisted of high mountains,
sheltered and watered valleys, deep canyons, deserts, and the southern
Great Plains, including areas in what is now Eastern Arizona, Northern
Sonora and Chihuahua), New Mexico, West Texas, and Southern
Colorado. These areas are collectively known as Apacheria. The Apache
tribes fought the invading Spanish and Mexican peoples for centuries.
Apache raids on
Sonora appear to have taken place during the
late 17th century. In 19th-century confrontations during the
American-Indian wars, the U.S. Army found the
Apache to be fierce
warriors and skillful strategists.
2.1 Difficulties in naming
3 List of names
3.5 Plains Apache
3.6 Western Apache
3.7 Other terms
4.1 Entry into the Southwest
4.2 Conflict with
Mexico and the United States
4.3 Forced removal
5 Pre-reservation culture
5.1 Social organization
5.1.1 Kinship systems
5.5 Undomesticated plants and other food sources
5.6 Crop cultivation
5.7 Trading, raiding, and war
7 Notable Apache
8 See also
11 External links
11.1 Tribal websites
Apachean tribes, c. 18th century:
WA: Western Apache
Pl: Plains Apache
Present-day primary locations of Apachean peoples (scale and colors as
Apache tribes are federally recognized:
Tribe of Oklahoma
Fort Sill Apache Tribe
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
Jicarilla Apache Nation, New Mexico
Tribe of the
Mescalero Reservation, New Mexico
San Carlos Apache
San Carlos Apache
Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation, Arizona
Tribe of Arizona
White Mountain Apache
White Mountain Apache
Tribe of the Fort
Apache Reservation, Arizona
Yavapai-Apache Nation of the Camp Verde Indian Reservation, Arizona
Jicarilla are headquartered in Dulce, New Mexico, while the
Mescalero are headquartered in Mescalero, New Mexico. The Western
Apache, located in Arizona, is divided into several reservations,
which crosscut cultural divisions. The
Western Apache reservations
include the Fort
Apache Indian Reservation,
San Carlos Apache
San Carlos Apache Indian
Yavapai-Apache Nation and Tonto-
Chiricahua were divided into two groups after they were released
from being prisoners of war. The majority moved to the Mescalero
Reservation and form, with the larger
Mescalero political group, the
Tribe of the
Apache Reservation, along with
the Lipan Apache. The other
Chiricahua are enrolled in the Fort
Tribe of Oklahoma, headquartered in Apache, Oklahoma.
Plains Apache are located in Oklahoma, headquartered around
Anadarko, and are federally recognized as the
The people who are known today as
Apache were first encountered by the
Conquistadors of the Spanish Crown, and thus the term
Apache has its
roots in the Spanish language. The Spanish first used the term "Apachu
de Nabajo" (Navajo) in the 1620s, referring to people in the Chama
region east of the San Juan River. By the 1640s, they applied the term
Athabaskan peoples from the Chama on the east to the San
Juan on the west. The ultimate origin is uncertain and lost to Spanish
Apache people today, and the US government, maintain use of the
Spanish term to describe themselves and tribal functions. Indigenous
lineages who also speak the language that was handed down to them
would also refer to themselves and their people in that language's
term Inde meaning "person" and/or "People". Distant cousins and a
subgroup of the Apache, generally, are the
Navajo Peoples who in their
own language refer to themselves as the Diné.
The first known written record in Spanish is by
Juan de Oñate
Juan de Oñate in
1598. The most widely accepted origin theory suggests
borrowed and transliterated from the Zuni word ʔa·paču meaning
"Navajos" (the plural of paču "Navajo").
Another theory suggests the term comes from
Yavapai ʔpačə meaning
"enemy". The Zuni and
Yavapai sources are less certain because
Oñate used the term before he had encountered any Zuni or Yavapai.
A less likely origin may be from Spanish mapache, meaning
The fame of the tribes' tenacity and fighting skills, probably
bolstered by dime novels, was widely known among Europeans. In early
20th century Parisian society, the word
Apache was adopted into
French, essentially meaning an outlaw.
The term Apachean includes the related
Difficulties in naming
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Many of the historical names of
Apache groups that were recorded by
Apache are difficult to match to modern-day tribes or their
subgroups. Over the centuries, many Spanish, French and
English-speaking authors did not differentiate between
other semi-nomadic non-
Apache peoples who might pass through the same
area. Most commonly, Europeans learned to identify the tribes by
translating their exonym, what another group whom the Europeans
encountered first called the
Apache peoples. Europeans often did not
learn what the peoples called themselves, their autonyms.
Plains Apache chief
While anthropologists agree on some traditional major subgrouping of
Apaches, they have often used different criteria to name finer
divisions, and these do not always match modern
Apache groupings. Some
scholars do not consider groups residing in what is now
Mexico to be
Apache. In addition, an
Apache individual has different ways of
identification with a group, such as a band or clan, as well as the
larger tribe or language grouping, which can add to the difficulties
in an outsider comprehending the distinctions.
In 1900, the U.S. government classified the members of the Apache
tribe in the United States as Pinal Coyotero, Jicarilla, Mescalero,
San Carlos, Tonto, and White Mountain Apache. The different groups
were located in Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma.
In the 1930s, the anthropologist
Grenville Goodwin classified the
Western Apache into five groups (based on his informants' views of
dialect and cultural differences): White Mountain, Cibecue, San
Carlos, North Tonto, and South Tonto. Since then, other
anthropologists (e.g. Albert Schroeder) consider Goodwin's
classification inconsistent with pre-reservation cultural divisions.
Willem de Reuse finds linguistic evidence supporting only three major
groupings: White Mountain, San Carlos, and Dilzhe’e (Tonto). He
believes San Carlos is the most divergent dialect, and that Dilzhe’e
is a remnant, intermediate member of a dialect continuum that
previously spanned from the
Western Apache language
Western Apache language to the Navajo.
John Upton Terrell classifies the
Apache into western and eastern
groups. In the western group, he includes Toboso, Cholome, Jocome,
Sibolo or Cibola, Pelone, Manso, and Kiva or Kofa. He includes Chicame
(the earlier term for Hispanized
Chicano or New Mexicans of
Apache descent) among them as having definite
Apache connections or names which the Spanish associated with the
In a detailed study of
New Mexico Catholic Church records, David M.
Brugge identifies 15 tribal names which the Spanish used to refer to
the Apache. These were drawn from records of about 1000 baptisms from
1704 to 1862.
List of names
The list below is based on Foster and McCollough (2001), Opler (1983b,
1983c, 2001), and de Reuse (1983).
Apache refers to six major Apache-speaking groups:
Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Lipan, Mescalero, Plains Apache, and Western
Apache. Historically, the term was also used for Comanches, Mojaves,
Hualapais, and Yavapais, none of whom speak
Chiricahua historically lived in Southeastern Arizona. Chíshí (also
Tchishi) is a
Navajo word meaning "Chiricahua, southern Apaches in
Ch’úúkʾanén (also Č’ók’ánéń, Č’ó·k’anén,
Chokonni, Cho-kon-nen, Cho Kŭnĕ́, Chokonen) is the Eastern
Chiricahua band identified by Morris Opler. The name is an autonym
Gileño (also Apaches de Gila, Apaches de Xila, Apaches de la Sierra
de Gila, Xileños, Gilenas, Gilans, Gilanians, Gila Apache, Gilleños)
referred to several different
Apache and non-
Apache groups at
different times. Gila refers to either the
Gila River or the Gila
Mountains. Some of the Gila Apaches were probably later known as the
Mogollon Apaches, a
Chiricahua sub-band, while others probably
coalesced into the
Chiricahua proper. But, since the term was used
indiscriminately for all Apachean groups west of the
Rio Grande (i.e.
Arizona and western New Mexico), the reference in
historical documents is often unclear. After 1722, Spanish documents
start to distinguish between these different groups, in which case
Apaches de Gila refers to the
Western Apache living along the Gila
River (synonymous with Coyotero). American writers first used the term
to refer to the Mimbres (another
Mimbreños are the Tchihende, the name being referred to a central
Apache division improperly considered as a section of Opler's "Eastern
Chiricahua band", and to Albert Schroeder's Mimbres and Warm Springs
(see also Copper Mines) "Chiricahua" bands in southwestern New
Copper Mines Mimbreños (also Coppermine) were located on upper
reaches of Gila River, New Mexico, in the Pinos Altos area. (See also
Gileño and Mimbreños.)
Warm Springs Mimbreños (also Warmspring) were located on upper
reaches of Gila River, New Mexico, in the Ojo Caliente area. (See also
Gileño and Mimbreños.)
Mogollon was considered by Schroeder to be a separate pre-reservation
Chiricahua band, while Opler considered the Mogollon to be part of his
Chiricahua band in New Mexico.
Jicarilla Apache boy, New Mexico, 2009
Jicarilla primarily live in Northern New Mexico, Southern Colorado,
Texas Panhandle. The term jicarilla comes from the Spanish
word for "little gourd."
Carlana (also Carlanes, Sierra Blanca) is
Raton Mesa in Southeastern
Colorado. In 1726, they joined the Cuartelejo and Paloma, and by the
1730s, they lived with the Jicarilla. The
Llanero band of the
Jicarilla or the Dáchizh-ó-zhn
Jicarilla (defined by James Mooney)
might descendants of the Carlana, Cuartelejo, and Paloma. Parts of the
group were called Lipiyanes or Llaneros. In 1812, the term Carlana was
used to mean Jicarilla. The Flechas de Palo might have been a part of
or absorbed by the Carlana (or Cuartelejo).
Lipan (also Ypandis, Ypandes, Ipandes, Ipandi, Lipanes, Lipanos,
Lipaines, Lapane, Lipanis, etc.) live in Western
Texas today. They
traveled from the
Pecos River in Eastern
New Mexico to the upper
San Saba River
San Saba River and
Llano River of central
the Edwards Plateau southeast to the Gulf of Mexico. They were close
allies of the Natagés. They were also called Plains Lipan
(Golgahį́į́, Kó'l kukä'ⁿ, "Prairie Men"), not to be confused
Lipiyánes or Le Panis (French for the Pawnee). They were first
mentioned in 1718 records as being near the newly established town of
San Antonio, Texas.
Pelones ("Bald Ones") lived far from San Antonio and far to the
northeast of the Ypandes near the
Red River of the South
Red River of the South of
North-Central Texas, although able to field 800 warriors, more than
the Ypandes and
Natagés together, they were described as less warlike
because they had fewer horses than the Plains Lipan, their population
were estimated between 1,600 and 2,400 persons, were the Forest Lipan
division (Chishį́į́hį́į́, Tcici, Tcicihi - "People of the
Forest", after 1760 the name Pelones was never used by the Spanish for
Apache group, the Pelones had fled for the
and southwest, but never mixed up with the Plains Lipan division -
retaining their distinct identity, so that
Morris Opler was told by
his Lipan informants in 1935 that their tribal name was "People of the
Mescaleros primarily live in Eastern New Mexico.
Faraones (also Apaches Faraone, Paraonez, Pharaones, Taraones, or
Taracones) is derived from Spanish Faraón meaning "Pharaoh." Before
1700, the name was vague. Between 1720 and 1726, it referred to Apache
between the Rio Grande, the Pecos River, the area around Santa Fe, and
the Conchos River. After 1726,
Faraones only referred to the groups of
the north and central parts of this region. The
Faraones like were
part of the modern-day
Mescalero or merged with them. After 1814, the
Faraones disappeared and was replaced by Mescalero.
Sierra Blanca Mescaleros were a northern
Mescalero group from the
Sierra Blanca Mountains, who roamed in what is now eastern New Mexico
and western Texas.
Sacramento Mescaleros were a northern
Mescalero group from the
Sacramento and Organ Mountains, who roamed in what is now eastern New
Mexico and western Texas.
Guadalupe Mescaleros. were a northern
Mescalero group from the
Guadalupe Mountains, who roamed in what is now eastern
New Mexico and
Limpia Mescaleros were a southern
Mescalero group from the Limpia
Mountains (later named as Davis Mountains) and roamed in what is now
New Mexico and western Texas.
Natagés (also Natagees, Apaches del Natafé, Natagêes, Yabipais
Natagé, Natageses, Natajes) is a term used from 1726 to 1820 to refer
to the Faraón, Sierra Blanca, and Siete Ríos Apaches of southeastern
New Mexico. In 1745, the Natagé are reported to have consisted of the
El Paso and the Organ Mountains) and the Salinero
(around Rio Salado), but these were probably the same group, were oft
called by the Spanish and Apaches themselves true Apaches, had had a
considerable influence on the decision making of some bands of the
Western Lipan in the 18th century. After 1749, the term became
synonymous with Mescalero, which eventually replaced it.
Plains Apache (Kiowa-Apache, Naisha, Naʼishandine) are headquartered
in Southwest Oklahoma. Historically, they followed the Kiowa. Other
names for them include Ná’įįsha, Ná’ęsha, Na’isha,
Na’ishandine, Na-i-shan-dina, Na-ishi, Na-e-ca, Ną’ishą́,
Nadeicha, Nardichia, Nadíisha-déna, Na’dí’į́shą́ʼ,
Nądí’įįshąą, and Naisha.
Querechos referred to by Coronado in 1541, possibly Plains Apaches, at
times maybe Navajo. Other early Spanish might have also called them
Vaquereo or Llanero.
Western Apache woman from the San Carlos group
Western Apache include Northern Tonto, Southern Tonto, Cibecue, White
Mountain and San Carlos groups. While these subgroups spoke the same
language and had kinship ties, Western Apaches considered themselves
as separate from each other, according to Goodwin. Other writers have
used this term to refer to all non-
Navajo Apachean peoples living west
Rio Grande (thus failing to distinguish the
Chiricahua from the
other Apacheans). Goodwin's formulation: "all those
Apache peoples who
have lived within the present boundaries of the state of Arizona
during historic times with the exception of the Chiricahua, Warm
Springs, and allied Apache, and a small band of Apaches known as the
Apache Mansos, who lived in the vicinity of Tucson."
Cibecue is a
Western Apache group, according to Goodwin, from north of
the Salt River between the Tonto and White Mountain Apache, consisting
of Ceder Creek, Carrizo, and Cibecue (proper) bands.
San Carlos. A
Western Apache group that ranged closest to Tucson
according to Goodwin. This group consisted of the
Arivaipa, Pinal, San Carlos (proper) bands.
Arivaipa (also Aravaipa) is a band of the San Carlos Apache. Schroeder
Arivaipa were a separate people in pre-reservation times.
Arivaipa is a Hispanized word from the O'odham language. The Arivaipa
are known as Tsézhiné ("Black Rock") in the
Western Apache language.
Pinal (also Pinaleños). One of the bands of the San Carlos group of
Western Apache, described by Goodwin. Also used along with
refer more generally to one of two major
Western Apache divisions.
Some Pinaleño were referred to as the Gila Apache.
Tonto. Goodwin divided into Northern Tonto and Southern Tonto groups,
living in the north and west areas of the
Western Apache groups
according to Goodwin. This is north of Phoenix, north of the Verde
River. Schroeder has suggested that the Tonto are originally Yavapais
Western Apache culture. Tonto is one of the major
dialects of the
Western Apache language.
Tonto Apache speakers are
traditionally bilingual in
Western Apache and Yavapai. Goodwin's
Northern Tonto consisted of Bald Mountain, Fossil Creek, Mormon Lake,
Oak Creek bands; Southern Tonto consisted of the Mazatzal band and
White Mountain are the easternmost group of the Western Apache,
according to Goodwin, who included the Eastern White Mountain and
Western White Mountain Apache.
Coyotero refers to a southern pre-reservation White Mountain group of
the Western Apache, but has also been used more widely to refer to the
Apache in general, Western Apache, or an
Apache band in the high
plains of Southern
Colorado to Kansas.
Llanero is a Spanish-language borrowing meaning "plains dweller". The
name referred to several different groups who hunted buffalo on the
Great Plains. (See also Carlanas.)
Lipiyánes (also Lipiyán, Lipillanes). A coalition of splinter groups
of Nadahéndé (Natagés), Guhlkahéndé, and Lipan of the 18th
century under the leadership of Picax-Ande-Ins-Tinsle ("Strong Arm"),
who fought the
Comanche on the Plains. This term is not to be confused
Entry into the Southwest
Apache rawhide playing cards, c. 1875–1885, collection of NMAI
Navajo tribal groups of the North American Southwest
speak related languages of the
Athabaskan language family. Other
Athabaskan-speaking people in North America continue to reside in
Alaska, western Canada, and the Northwest Pacific Coast.
Anthropological evidence suggests that the
lived in these same northern locales before migrating to the Southwest
sometime between AD 1200 and 1500.
The Apaches’ nomadic way of life complicates accurate dating,
primarily because they constructed less substantial dwellings than
other Southwestern groups. Since the early 21st century,
substantial progress has been made in dating and distinguishing their
dwellings and other forms of material culture. They left behind a
more austere set of tools and material goods than other Southwestern
The Athabaskan-speaking group probably moved into areas that were
concurrently occupied or recently abandoned by other cultures. Other
Athabaskan speakers, perhaps including the Southern Athabaskan,
adapted many of their neighbors' technology and practices in their own
cultures. Thus sites where early Southern Athabaskans may have lived
are difficult to locate and even more difficult to firmly identify as
culturally Southern Athabaskan. Recent advances have been made in the
regard in the far southern portion of the American Southwest.[citation
There are several hypotheses concerning
Apache migrations. One[who?]
posits that they moved into the Southwest from the Great Plains. In
the early 16th century, these mobile groups lived in tents, hunted
bison and other game, and used dogs to pull travois loaded with their
possessions. Substantial numbers of the people and a wide range were
recorded by the Spanish in the 16th century.
In April 1541, while traveling on the plains east of the Pueblo
Francisco Coronado referred to the people as "dog nomads." He
After seventeen days of travel, I came upon a 'rancheria' of the
Indians who follow these cattle (bison). These natives are called
Querechos. They do not cultivate the land, but eat raw meat and drink
the blood of the cattle they kill. They dress in the skins of the
cattle, with which all the people in this land clothe themselves, and
they have very well-constructed tents, made with tanned and greased
cowhides, in which they live and which they take along as they follow
the cattle. They have dogs which they load to carry their tents,
poles, and belongings.
The Coronado Expedition, 1540–1542
The Spanish described Plains dogs as very white, with black spots, and
"not much larger than water spaniels." Plains dogs were slightly
smaller than those used for hauling loads by modern Inuit and northern
First Nations people in Canada. Recent experiments show these dogs may
have pulled loads up to 50 lb (20 kg) on long trips, at rates as
high as two or three miles per hour (3 to 5 km/h). The Plains
migration theory associates the
Apache peoples with the Dismal River
culture, an archaeological culture known primarily from ceramics and
house remains, dated 1675–1725, which has been excavated in
Nebraska, eastern Colorado, and western Kansas.
Although the first documentary sources mention the Apache, and
historians have suggested some passages indicate a 16th-century entry
from the north, archaeological data indicate they were present on the
plains long before this first reported contact.
A competing theory[who?] posits their migration south, through the
Rocky Mountains, ultimately reaching the American Southwest by the
14th century or perhaps earlier. An archaeological material culture
assemblage identified in this mountainous zone as ancestral
been referred to as the "Cerro Rojo complex". This theory does not
preclude arrival via a plains route as well, perhaps concurrently, but
to date the earliest evidence has been found in the mountainous
Southwest. The
Plains Apache have a significant
Southern Plains cultural influence.
When the Spanish arrived in the area, trade between the long
Pueblo peoples and the Southern
Athabaskan was well
established. They reported the
Pueblo exchanged maize and woven cotton
goods for bison meat, and hides and materials for stone tools.
Coronado observed the Plains people wintering near the
established camps. Later Spanish sovereignty over the area disrupted
trade between the
Pueblo and the diverging
Apache quickly acquired horses, improving their mobility for quick
raids on settlements. In addition, the
Pueblo were forced to work
Spanish mission lands and care for mission flocks; they had fewer
surplus goods to trade with their neighbors.
In 1540, Coronado reported that the modern
Western Apache area was
uninhabited, although some scholars have argued that he simply did not
see the American Indians. Other Spanish explorers first mention
"Querechos" living west of the
Rio Grande in the 1580s. To some
historians, this implies the Apaches moved into their current
Southwestern homelands in the late 16th and early 17th centuries.
Other historians note that Coronado reported that
Pueblo women and
children had often been evacuated by the time his party attacked their
dwellings, and that he saw some dwellings had been recently abandoned
as he moved up the Rio Grande. This might indicate the semi-nomadic
Athabaskan had advance warning about his hostile approach and
evaded encounter with the Spanish. Archaeologists are finding ample
evidence of an early proto-
Apache presence in the Southwestern
mountain zone in the 15th century and perhaps earlier. The Apache
presence on both the Plains and in the mountainous Southwest indicate
that the people took multiple early migration routes.
Mexico and the United States
Apache Wars and Apache–
In general, the recently arrived Spanish colonists, who settled in
Apache bands developed a pattern of interaction over a
few centuries. Both raided and traded with each other. Records of the
period seem to indicate that relationships depended upon the specific
villages and specific bands that were involved with each other. For
example, one band might be friends with one village and raid another.
When war happened, the Spanish would send troops; after a battle both
sides would "sign a treaty," and both sides would go home.
The traditional and sometimes treacherous relationships continued
between the villages and bands with the independence of
1821. By 1835
Mexico had placed a bounty on
Apache scalps (see
scalping), but certain villages were still trading with some bands.
When Juan José Compà, the leader of the Copper Mines Mimbreño
Apaches, was killed for bounty money in 1837,
Mangas Coloradas (Red
Sleeves) or Dasoda-hae (He just sits there) became the principal chief
and war leader; also in 1837 Soldado Fiero (a.k.a. Fuerte), leader of
the Warm Springs Mimbreño Apaches, was killed by Mexican soldiers
near Janos, and his son
Cuchillo Negro (Black Knife) became the
principal chief and war leader. They (being now
Mangas Coloradas the
first chief and
Cuchillo Negro the second chief of the whole Tchihende
or Mimbreño people) conducted a series of retaliatory raids against
the Mexicans. By 1856, authorities in horse-rich
Durango would claim
that Indian raids (mostly
Comanche and Apache) in their state had
taken nearly 6,000 lives, abducted 748 people, and forced the
abandonment of 358 settlements over the previous 20 years.
When the United States went to war against
Mexico in 1846, many Apache
bands promised U.S. soldiers safe passage through their lands. When
the U.S. claimed former territories of
Mexico in 1846, Mangas
Coloradas signed a peace treaty with the nation, respecting them as
conquerors of the Mexicans' land. An uneasy peace between the Apache
and the new citizens of the United States held until the 1850s. An
influx of gold miners into the
Santa Rita Mountains
Santa Rita Mountains led to conflict
with the Apache. This period is sometimes called the
United States' concept of a reservation had not been used by the
Spanish, Mexicans or other
Apache neighbors before. Reservations were
often badly managed, and bands that had no kinship relationships were
forced to live together. No fences existed to keep people in or out.
It was not uncommon for a band to be given permission to leave for a
short period of time. Other times a band would leave without
permission, to raid, return to their homeland to forage, or to simply
get away. The military usually had forts nearby. Their job was keeping
the various bands on the reservations by finding and returning those
who left. The reservation policies of the United States produced
conflict and war with the various
Apache bands who left the
reservations for almost another quarter century.
Warfare between the
Apache peoples and Euro-Americans has led to a
stereotypical focus on certain aspects of
Apache cultures. These have
often been distorted through misunderstanding of their cultures, as
noted by anthropologist Keith Basso:
Of the hundreds of peoples that lived and flourished in native North
America, few have been so consistently misrepresented as the Apacheans
Arizona and New Mexico. Glorified by novelists, sensationalized by
historians, and distorted beyond credulity by commercial film makers,
the popular image of 'the Apache' — a brutish, terrifying semi-human
bent upon wanton death and destruction — is almost entirely a
product of irresponsible caricature and exaggeration. Indeed, there
can be little doubt that the
Apache has been transformed from a native
American into an American legend, the fanciful and fallacious creation
of a non-Indian citizenry whose inability to recognize the massive
treachery of ethnic and cultural stereotypes has been matched only by
its willingness to sustain and inflate them.
In 1875, United States military forced the removal of an estimated
Yavapai and Dilzhe’e
Apache (better known as Tonto Apache) from
the Rio Verde Indian Reserve and its several thousand acres of treaty
lands promised to them by the United States government. At the orders
of the Indian Commissioner, L.E. Dudley, U.S. Army troops made the
people, young and old, walk through winter-flooded rivers, mountain
passes and narrow canyon trails to get to the Indian Agency at San
Carlos, 180 miles (290 km) away. The trek resulted in the loss of
several hundred lives. The people were held there in internment for 25
years while white settlers took over their land. Only a few hundred
ever returned to their lands.
Most United States' histories of this era report that the final defeat
Apache band took place when 5,000 US troops forced Geronimo's
group of 30 to 50 men, women and children to surrender on September 4,
1886, at Skeleton Canyon, Arizona. The Army sent this band and the
Chiricahua scouts who had tracked them to military confinement in
Fort Pickens and, subsequently, Ft. Sill, Oklahoma.
Many books were written on the stories of hunting and trapping during
the late 19th century. Many of these stories involve
Apache raids and
the failure of agreements with Americans and Mexicans. In the post-war
era, the US government arranged for
Apache children to be taken from
their families for adoption by white Americans in assimilation
programs. These were similar in nature to those involving the
Stolen Generations of Australia.
Apache peoples lived in extended family units (or family
clusters); they usually lived close together, with each nuclear family
in separate dwellings. An extended family generally consisted of a
husband and wife, their unmarried children, their married daughters,
their married daughters' husbands, and their married daughters'
children. Thus, the extended family is connected through a lineage of
women who live together (that is, matrilocal residence), into which
men may enter upon marriage (leaving behind his parents' family).
When a daughter was married, a new dwelling was built nearby for her
and her husband. Among the Navajo, residence rights are ultimately
derived from a head mother. Although the
Western Apache usually
practiced matrilocal residence, sometimes the eldest son chose to
bring his wife to live with his parents after marriage. All tribes
practiced sororate and levirate marriages.
Apache Indian girl carrying an olla (a water basket) on her head,
Apache men practiced varying degrees of "avoidance" of his wife's
close relatives, a practice often most strictly observed by distance
between mother-in-law and son-in-law. The degree of avoidance differed
Apache groups. The most elaborate system was among the
Chiricahua, where men had to use indirect polite speech toward and
were not allowed to be within visual sight of the wife's female
relatives, whom he had to avoid. His female
through marriage also avoided him.
Several extended families worked together as a "local group", which
carried out certain ceremonies, and economic and military activities.
Political control was mostly present at the local group level. Local
groups were headed by a chief, a male who had considerable influence
over others in the group due to his effectiveness and reputation. The
chief was the closest societal role to a leader in
The office was not hereditary, and the position was often filled by
members of different extended families. The chief's leadership was
only as strong as he was evaluated to be—no group member was ever
obliged to follow the chief. The
Western Apache criteria for
evaluating a good chief included: industriousness, generosity,
impartiality, forbearance, conscientiousness, and eloquence in
Apache peoples joined together several local groups into "bands".
Band organization was strongest among the
Chiricahua and Western
Apache, while among the Lipan and Mescalero, it was weak. The Navajo
did not organize local groups into bands, perhaps because of the
requirements of the sheepherding economy. However, the
Navajo did have
"the outfit", a group of relatives that was larger than the extended
family, but not as large as a local group community or a band.
On the larger level, the
Western Apache organized bands into what
Grenville Goodwin called "groups". He reported five groups for the
Western Apache: Northern Tonto, Southern Tonto, Cibecue, San Carlos,
and White Mountain. The
Jicarilla grouped their bands into "moieties",
perhaps influenced by the example of the northeastern Pueblo. The
Western Apache and
Navajo also had a system of matrilineal "clans"
that were organized further into phratries (perhaps influenced by the
The notion of "tribe" in
Apache cultures is very weakly developed;
essentially it was only a recognition "that one owed a modicum of
hospitality to those of the same speech, dress, and customs." The
Apache tribes had political independence from each other and
even fought against each other. For example, the Lipan once fought
against the Mescalero.
Apache tribes have two distinctly different kinship term systems:
Chiricahua type and a
Jicarilla type. The Chiricahua-type system
is used by the Chiricahua, Mescalero, and Western Apache. The Western
Apache system differs slightly from the other two systems, and it has
some similarities to the
Jicarilla type, which is similar to the Dakota–
systems, is used by the Jicarilla, Navajo, Lipan, and Plains Apache.
Navajo system is more divergent among the four, having
similarities with the Chiricahua-type system. The Lipan and Plains
Apache systems are very similar.
Hide painting depicting
Apache girl's puberty ceremony, by Naiche
Chiricahua Apache), ca. 1900,
Oklahoma History Center
Chiricahua language has four different words for grandparent:
-chú "maternal grandmother", -tsúyé "maternal grandfather",
-chʼiné "paternal grandmother", -nálé "paternal grandfather".
Additionally, a grandparent's siblings are identified by the same
word; thus, one's maternal grandmother, one's maternal grandmother's
sisters, and one's maternal grandmother's brothers are all called
-chú. Furthermore, the grandparent terms are reciprocal, that is, a
grandparent will use the same term to refer to their grandchild in
that relationship. For example, a person's maternal grandmother will
be called -chú and that maternal grandmother will also call that
person -chú as well (i.e. -chú can mean the child of either your own
daughter or your sibling's daughter.)
Chiricahua cousins are not distinguished from siblings through kinship
terms. Thus, the same word will refer to either a sibling or a cousin
(there are not separate terms for parallel-cousin and cross-cousin).
Additionally, the terms are used according to the sex of the speaker
(unlike the English terms brother and sister): -kʼis "same-sex
sibling or same-sex cousin", -´-ląh "opposite-sex sibling or
opposite-sex cousin". This means if one is a male, then one's brother
is called -kʼis and one's sister is called -´-ląh. If one is a
female, then one's brother is called -´-ląh and one's sister is
called -kʼis. Chiricahuas in a -´-ląh relationship observed great
restraint and respect toward that relative; cousins (but not siblings)
in a -´-ląh relationship may practice total avoidance.
Two different words are used for each parent according to sex:
-mááʼ "mother", -taa "father". Likewise, there are two words for a
parent's child according to sex: -yáchʼeʼ "daughter", -gheʼ "son".
A parent's siblings are classified together regardless of sex:
-ghúyé "maternal aunt or uncle (mother's brother or sister)",
-deedééʼ "paternal aunt or uncle (father's brother or sister)".
These two terms are reciprocal like the grandparent/grandchild terms.
Thus, -ghúyé also refers to one's opposite-sex sibling's son or
daughter (that is, a person will call their maternal aunt -ghúyé and
that aunt will call them -ghúyé in return).
Chiricahua system, the
Jicarilla have only two terms for
grandparents according to sex: -chóó "grandmother", -tsóyéé
"grandfather". They do not have separate terms for maternal or
paternal grandparents. The terms are also used of a grandparent's
siblings according to sex. Thus, -chóó refers to one's grandmother
or one's grand-aunt (either maternal or paternal); -tsóyéé refers
to one's grandfather or one's grand-uncle. These terms are not
reciprocal. There is a single word for grandchild (regardless of sex):
There are two terms for each parent. These terms also refer to that
parent's same-sex sibling: -ʼnííh "mother or maternal aunt
(mother's sister)", -kaʼéé "father or paternal uncle (father's
brother)". Additionally, there are two terms for a parent's
opposite-sex sibling depending on sex: -daʼá̱á̱ "maternal uncle
(mother's brother)", -béjéé "paternal aunt (father's sister).
Two terms are used for same-sex and opposite-sex siblings. These terms
are also used for parallel-cousins: -kʼisé "same-sex sibling or
same-sex parallel cousin (i.e. same-sex father's brother's child or
mother's sister's child)", -´-láh "opposite-sex sibling or opposite
parallel cousin (i.e. opposite-sex father's brother's child or
mother's sister's child)". These two terms can also be used for
cross-cousins. There are also three sibling terms based on the age
relative to the speaker: -ndádéé "older sister", -´-naʼá̱á̱
"older brother", -shdá̱zha "younger sibling (i.e. younger sister or
brother)". Additionally, there are separate words for cross-cousins:
-zeedń "cross-cousin (either same-sex or opposite-sex of speaker)",
-iłnaaʼaash "male cross-cousin" (only used by male speakers).
A parent's child is classified with their same-sex sibling's or
same-sex cousin's child: -zhácheʼe "daughter, same-sex sibling's
daughter, same-sex cousin's daughter", -gheʼ "son, same-sex sibling's
son, same-sex cousin's son". There are different words for an
opposite-sex sibling's child: -daʼá̱á̱ "opposite-sex sibling's
daughter", -daʼ "opposite-sex sibling's son".
All people in the
Apache tribe lived in one of three types of houses.
The first of which is the teepee, for those who lived in the plains.
Another type of housing is the wickiup, an 8-foot-tall (2.4 m)
frame of wood held together with yucca fibers and covered in brush
usually in the
Apache groups in the highlands. If a family member
lived in a wickiup and they died, the wickiup would be burned. The
final housing is the hogan, an earthen structure in the desert area
that was good for cool keeping in the hot weather of northern Mexico.
Below is a description of
Chiricahua wickiups recorded by
anthropologist Morris Opler:
"The home in which the family lives is made by the women and is
ordinarily a circular, dome-shaped brush dwelling, with the floor at
ground level. It is seven feet high at the center and approximately
eight feet in diameter. To build it, long fresh poles of oak or willow
are driven into the ground or placed in holes made with a digging
stick. These poles, which form the framework, are arranged at one-foot
intervals and are bound together at the top with yucca-leaf strands.
Over them a thatching of bundles of big bluestem grass or bear grass
is tied, shingle style, with yucca strings. A smoke hole opens above a
central fireplace. A hide, suspended at the entrance, is fixed on a
cross-beam so that it may be swung forward or backward. The doorway
may face in any direction. For waterproofing, pieces of hide are
thrown over the outer hatching, and in rainy weather, if a fire is not
needed, even the smoke hole is covered. In warm, dry weather much of
the outer roofing is stripped off. It takes approximately three days
to erect a sturdy dwelling of this type. These houses are ‘warm and
comfortable, even though there is a big snow.’ The interior is lined
with brush and grass beds over which robes are spread...
Chiricahua medicine man in wickiup with family
"The woman not only makes the furnishings of the home but is
responsible for the construction, maintenance, and repair of the
dwelling itself and for the arrangement of everything in it. She
provides the grass and brush beds and replaces them when they become
too old and dry.... However, formerly ‘they had no permanent homes,
so they didn't bother with cleaning.’ The dome-shaped dwelling or
wickiup, the usual home type for all the
Chiricahua bands, has already
been described.... Said a Central
Both the teepee and the oval-shaped house were used when I was a boy.
The oval hut was covered with hide and was the best house. The more
well-to-do had this kind. The tepee type was just made of brush. It
had a place for a fire in the center. It was just thrown together.
Both types were common even before my time....
"A house form that departs from the more common dome-shaped variety is
recorded for the Southern
Chiricahua as well:
...When we settled down, we used the wickiup; when we were moving
around a great deal, we used this other kind..."
Recent research has documented the archaeological remains of
Apache wickiups as found on protohistoric and at historical
sites, such as Canon de los Embudos where C.S. Fly photographed
Geronimo, his people, and dwellings during surrender negotiations in
1886, demonstrating their unobtrusive and improvised nature."
Apache containers: baskets, bowls and jars. The women-made
baskets could hold heavy loads and were made mainly from yucca or
willow leaves or juniper bark.
Apache people obtained food from four main sources:
hunting wild animals,
gathering wild plants,
growing domesticated plants
trading with or raiding neighboring tribes for livestock and
Particular types of foods eaten by a group depending upon their
Hunting was done primarily by men, although there were sometimes
exceptions depending on animal and culture (e.g. Lipan women could
help in hunting rabbits and
Chiricahua boys were also allowed to hunt
Hunting often had elaborate preparations, such as fasting and
religious rituals performed by medicine men before and after the hunt.
In Lipan culture, since deer were protected by Mountain Spirits, great
care was taken in Mountain Spirit rituals in order to ensure smooth
deer hunting. Also the slaughter of animals must be performed
following certain religious guidelines (many of which are recorded in
religious stories) from prescribing how to cut the animals, what
prayers to recite, and proper disposal of bones. A common practice
among Southern Athabascan hunters was the distribution of successfully
slaughtered game. For example, among the
Mescalero a hunter was
expected to share as much as one half of his kill with a fellow hunter
and with needy people back at the camp. Feelings of individuals
concerning this practice spoke of social obligation and spontaneous
The most common hunting weapon before the introduction of European
guns was the bow and arrow. Various hunting strategies were used. Some
techniques involved using animal head masks worn as a disguise.
Whistles were sometimes used to lure animals closer. Another technique
was the relay method where hunters positioned at various points would
chase the prey in turns in order to tire the animal. A similar method
involved chasing the prey down a steep cliff.
Eating certain animals was taboo. Although different cultures had
different taboos, some common examples of taboo animals included
bears, peccaries, turkeys, fish, snakes, insects, owls, and coyotes.
An example of taboo differences: the black bear was a part of the
Lipan diet (although not as common as buffalo, deer, or antelope), but
Jicarilla never ate bear because it was considered an evil animal.
Some taboos were a regional phenomena, such as of eating fish, which
was taboo throughout the southwest (e.g. in certain
Hopi and Zuni) and considered to be snake-like (an evil
animal) in physical appearance.
Western Apache hunted deer and pronghorns mostly in the ideal late
fall season. After the meat was smoked into jerky around November, a
migration from the farm sites along the stream banks in the mountains
to winter camps in the Salt, Black,
Gila river and even the Colorado
The primary game of the
Chiricahua was the deer followed by pronghorn.
Lesser game included: cottontail rabbits (but not jack rabbits),
opossums, squirrels, surplus horses, surplus mules, wapiti (elk), wild
cattle, wood rats.
Mescalero primarily hunted deer. Other animals hunted include:
bighorn sheep, buffalo (for those living closer to the plains),
cottontail rabbits, elk, horses, mules, opossums, pronghorn, wild
steers and wood rats. Beavers, minks, muskrats, and weasels were also
hunted for their hides and body parts but were not eaten.
The principal quarry animals of the
Jicarilla were bighorn sheep,
buffalo, deer, elk and pronghorn. Other game animals included beaver,
bighorn sheep, chief hares, chipmunks, doves, ground hogs, grouse,
peccaries, porcupines, prairie dogs, quail, rabbits, skunks, snow
birds, squirrels, turkeys and wood rats. Burros and horses were only
eaten in emergencies. Minks, weasels, wildcats and wolves were not
eaten but hunted for their body parts.
The main food of the Lipan was the buffalo with a three-week hunt
during the fall and smaller scale hunts continuing until the spring.
The second most utilized animal was deer. Fresh deer blood was drunk
for good health. Other animals included beavers, bighorns, black
bears, burros, ducks, elk, fish, horses, mountain lions, mourning
doves, mules, prairie dogs, pronghorns, quail, rabbits, squirrels,
turkeys, turtles and wood rats. Skunks were eaten only in emergencies.
Plains Apache hunters pursued primarily buffalo and deer. Other hunted
animals were badgers, bears, beavers, fowls, geese, opossums, otters,
rabbits and turtles.
Influenced by the Plains Indians, Western Apaches wore animal hide
decorated with seed beads for clothing. These beaded designs
historically resembled that of the Great Basin Paiute and is
characterized by linear patterning.
Apache beaded clothing was
bordered with narrow bands of glass seed beads in diagonal stripes of
alternating colors. They made buckskin shirts, ponchos, skirts and
moccasins and decorated them with colorful beadwork.
Undomesticated plants and other food sources
Apache girl with basket, 1902
The gathering of plants and other foods was primarily done by women.
However, in certain activities, such as the gathering of heavy agave
crowns, men helped, although the men's job is usually to hunt animals
such as deer, buffalo, and small game. Numerous plants were used for
medicine and religious ceremonies in addition their nutritional usage.
Other plants were utilized for only their religious or medicinal
In May, the
Western Apache baked and dried agave crowns that were
pounded into pulp and formed into rectangular cakes. At the end of
June and beginning of July, saguaro, prickly pear, and cholla fruits
were gathered. In July and August, mesquite beans, Spanish bayonet
fruit, and Emory oak acorns were gathered. In late September,
gathering was stopped as attention moved toward harvesting cultivated
crops. In late fall, juniper berries and pinyon nuts were gathered.
The most important plant food used by the
Chiricahua was the Century
plant (also known as mescal or agave). The crowns (the tuberous base
portion) of this plant (which were baked in large underground ovens
and sun-dried) and also the shoots were used. Other plants utilized by
Chiricahua include: agarita (or algerita) berries, alligator
juniper berries, anglepod seeds, banana yucca (or datil, broadleaf
yucca) fruit, chili peppers, chokecherries, cota (used for tea),
currants, dropseed grass seeds, Gambel oak acorns, Gambel oak bark
(used for tea), grass seeds (of various varieties), greens (of various
varieties), hawthorne fruit, Lamb's-quarters leaves, lip ferns (used
for tea), live oak acorns, locust blossoms, locust pods, maize kernels
(used for tiswin), and mesquite beans.
Also eaten were mulberries, narrowleaf yucca blossoms, narrowleaf
yucca stalks, nipple cactus fruit, one-seed juniper berries, onions,
pigweed seeds, pinyon nuts, pitahaya fruit, prickly pear fruit,
prickly pear juice, raspberries, screwbean (or tornillo) fruit,
saguaro fruit, spurge seeds, strawberries, sumac (Rhus trilobata)
berries, sunflower seeds, tule rootstocks, tule shoots, pigweed
tumbleweed seeds, unicorn plant seeds, walnuts, western yellow pine
inner bark (used as a sweetener), western yellow pine nuts, whitestar
potatoes (Ipomoea lacunosa), wild grapes, wild potatoes (Solanum
jamesii), wood sorrel leaves, and yucca buds (unknown species). Other
items include: honey from ground hives and hives found within agave,
sotol, and narrowleaf yucca plants.
The abundant agave (mescal) was also important to the Mescalero,
who gathered the crowns in late spring after reddish flower stalks
appeared. The smaller sotol crowns were also important. Both crowns of
both plants were baked and dried. Other plants include: acorns,
agarita berries, amole stalks (roasted and peeled), aspen inner bark
(used as a sweetener), bear grass stalks (roasted and peeled), box
elder inner bark (used as a sweetener), banana yucca fruit, banana
yucca flowers, box elder sap (used as a sweetener), cactus fruits (of
various varieties), cattail rootstocks, chokecherries, currants,
dropseed grass seeds (used for flatbread), elderberries, gooseberries
Ribes leptanthum and R. pinetorum), grapes, hackberries, hawthorne
fruit, and hops (used as condiment).
They also used horsemint (used as condiment), juniper berries,
Lamb's-quarters leaves, locust flowers, locust pods, mesquite pods,
mint (used as condiment), mulberries, pennyroyal (used as condiment),
pigweed seeds (used for flatbread), pine inner bark (used as a
sweetener), pinyon pine nuts, prickly pear fruit (dethorned and
roasted), purslane leaves, raspberries, sage (used as condiment),
screwbeans, sedge tubers, shepherd's purse leaves, strawberries,
sunflower seeds, tumbleweed seeds (used for flatbread), vetch pods,
walnuts, western white pine nuts, western yellow pine nuts, white
evening primrose fruit, wild celery (used as condiment), wild onion
(used as condiment), wild pea pods, wild potatoes, and wood sorrel
Jicarilla used acorns, chokecherries, juniper berries, mesquite
beans, pinyon nuts, prickly pear fruit, and yucca fruit, as well as
many different kinds of other fruits, acorns, greens, nuts, and seed
The most important plant food used by the Lipan was agave (mescal).
Another important plant was sotol. Other plants utilized by the Lipan
include: agarita, blackberries, cattails, devil's claw, elderberries,
gooseberries, hackberries, hawthorn, juniper, Lamb's-quarters, locust,
mesquite, mulberries, oak, palmetto, pecan, pinyon, prickly pears,
raspberries, screwbeans, seed grasses, strawberries, sumac,
Texas persimmons, walnuts, western yellow pine, wild
cherries, wild grapes, wild onions, wild plums, wild potatoes, wild
roses, yucca flowers, and yucca fruit. Other items include: salt
obtained from caves and honey.
Plants utilized by the
Plains Apache include: chokecherries,
blackberries, grapes, prairie turnips, wild onions, and wild plums.
Numerous other fruits, vegetables, and tuberous roots were also used.
Navajo practiced the most crop cultivation, the Western Apache,
Jicarilla, and Lipan less. The one
Chiricahua band (of Opler's) and
Mescalero practiced very little cultivation. The other two
Chiricahua bands and the
Plains Apache did not grow any crops.
Trading, raiding, and war
Some interchanges between the
Apache and European-descended explorers
and settlers were based on trading. The
Apache found they could use
European and American goods.
Although the following activities were not distinguished by Europeans
Apache tribes made clear distinctions between
raiding (for profit) and war. Raiding was done with small parties with
a specific economic target. The
Apache waged war with large parties
(often clan members), usually to achieve retribution.
Though raiding had been a traditional way of life for the Apache,
Mexican settlers objected to their stock being stolen. As tensions
Apache and settlers increased, the Mexican government
passed laws offering cash rewards for
Apache religious stories relate to two culture heroes (one of the
Sun/fire:"Killer-Of-Enemies/Monster Slayer", and one of
Water/Moon/thunder: "Child-Of-The-Water/Born For Water") that destroy
a number of creatures which are harmful to humankind.
Another story is of a hidden ball game, where good and evil animals
decide whether or not the world should be forever dark. Coyote, the
trickster, is an important being that often has inappropriate behavior
(such as marrying his own daughter, etc.) in which he overturns social
convention. The Navajo, Western Apache, Jicarilla, and Lipan have an
emergence or Creation Story, while this is lacking in the Chiricahua
Most Southern Athabascan "gods" are personified natural forces that
run through the universe. They may be used for human purposes through
ritual ceremonies. The following is a formulation by the
Keith Basso of the Western Apache's concept of
The term diyí’ refers to one or all of a set of abstract and
invisible forces which are said to derive from certain classes of
animals, plants, minerals, meteorological phenomena, and mythological
figures within the
Western Apache universe. Any of the various powers
may be acquired by man and, if properly handled, used for a variety of
Medicine men learn the ceremonies, which can also be acquired by
direct revelation to the individual. Different
Apache cultures had
different views of ceremonial practice. Most
Chiricahua and Mescalero
ceremonies were learned through the transmission of personal religious
visions, while the
Western Apache used standardized
rituals as the more central ceremonial practice. Important
standardized ceremonies include the puberty ceremony (Sunrise Dance)
of young women,
Jicarilla "long-life" ceremonies, and
Plains Apache "sacred-bundle" ceremonies.
Certain animals - owls, snakes, bears, and coyotes - are considered
spiritually evil and prone to cause sickness to humans. .
Apache ceremonies use masked representations of religious
Sandpainting is an important ceremony in the Navajo, Western
Jicarilla traditions, in which healers create temporary,
sacred art from colored sands. Anthropologists believe the use of
masks and sandpainting are examples of cultural diffusion from
The Apaches participate in many religious dances, including the rain
dance, dances for the crop and harvest, and a spirit dance. These
dances were mostly for influencing the weather and enriching their
Further information: Southern Athabascan languages
Apache languages are Apachean languages, which in turn belong
Athabaskan branch of the Eyak-
Athabaskan language family.
Apache languages are endangered. Lipan is reported extinct.
The Southern Athabascan branch was defined by
Harry Hoijer primarily
according to its merger of stem-initial consonants of the
Proto-Athabascan series *k̯ and *c into *c (in addition to the
widespread merger of *č and *čʷ into *č also found in many
Northern Athabascan languages).
"handle fabric-like object"
Hoijer (1938) divided the
Apache sub-family into an eastern branch
consisting of Jicarilla, Lipan, and
Plains Apache and a Western branch
consisting of Navajo,
Western Apache (San Carlos), Chiricahua, and
Mescalero based on the merger of Proto-Apachean *t and *k to k in the
Eastern branch. Thus, as can be seen in the example below, when the
Western languages have noun or verb stems that start with t, the
related forms in the Eastern languages will start with a k:
He later revised his proposal in 1971 when he found that Plains Apache
did not participate in the *k̯/*c merger to consider
Plains Apache as
a language equidistant from the other languages, now called
Southwestern Apachean. Thus, some stems that originally started with
*k̯ in Proto-Athabascan start with ch in
Plains Apache while the
other languages start with ts.
Morris Opler (1975) has suggested that Hoijer's original formulation
Jicarilla and Lipan in an Eastern branch was more in agreement
with the cultural similarities between these two and the differences
from the other Western Apachean groups. Other linguists, particularly
Michael Krauss (1973), have noted that a classification based only on
the initial consonants of noun and verb stems is arbitrary and when
other sound correspondences are considered the relationships between
the languages appear to be more complex.
Apache languages are tonal languages. Regarding tonal development, all
Apache languages are low-marked languages, which means that stems with
a "constricted" syllable rime in the proto-language developed low tone
while all other rimes developed high tone. Other Northern Athabascan
languages are high-marked languages in which the tonal development is
the reverse. In the example below, if low-marked
Navajo and Chiricahua
have a low tone, then the high-marked
Northern Athabascan languages,
Slavey and Chilcotin, have a high tone, and if
Navajo and Chiricahua
have a high tone, then Slavey and Chilcotin have a low tone.
Kathy Kitcheyan, Chairwoman of the San Carlos Apache
Mangas Coloradas, Chief
Plains Apache beader
William Alchesay, White Mountain scout, chief, Congressional Lobbyist
Mildred Cleghorn, Fort Sill tribal chairperson
Dahteste, female warrior
Gouyen, female warrior
Lozen, female warrior
Apache beadworker and regalia-maker
Ronnie Lupe, activist and
White Mountain Apache
White Mountain Apache tribal chairman
Douglas Miles, San Carlos painter
Joanelle Romero, actress, filmmaker
Jay Tavare, actor
Mary Kim Titla, publisher, journalist, former TV reporter, and a 2008
candidate for Arizona's First Congressional District
Raoul Trujillo, dancer, choreographer, actor
Medal of Honor
Medal of Honor recipients: see List of Native American Medal of
Indigenous peoples of North America portal
Battle of Cieneguilla
Camp Grant massacre
Fort Apache, a movie in the genre of historical fiction about
encounters between the US Army and Cochise's band
Native American tribe
Native Americans in the United States
Southern Athabascan languages
^ "The American Indian and
Alaska Native Population: 2010" (PDF).
census.gov. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
^ a b "Apache". Ethnologue. SIL International. Retrieved 25 November
^ a b c d "Tribal Governments by Area: Southern Plains." Archived
March 28, 2012, at the Wayback Machine. National Congress of American
Indians. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
^ a b c "Tribal Governments by Area: Southwest." Archived March 28,
2012, at the Wayback Machine. National Congress of American Indians.
Retrieved 7 March 2012.
^ a b c d "Tribal Governments by Area: Western." Archived 2012-02-28
at the Wayback Machine. National Congress of American Indians.
Retrieved 7 March 2012.
^ "Apache, Lipan." Ethnologue. Retrieved 7 March 2012.
^ Other Zuni words identifying specific
Apache groups are
wilacʔu·kʷe "White Mountain Apache" and čišše·kʷe "San Carlos
Apache" (Newman, pp.32, 63, 65; de Reuse, p.385). J.P. Harrington
reports that čišše·kʷe can also be used to refer to the
^ "Johnson County Schools - 211 North Church Street, Mountain City TN
37683 - Ph: 423.727.2640 - Fax: 423.727.2663".
^ a b de Reuse, p.385
^ Brugge, David M. (1968). Navajos in the Catholic Church Records of
New Mexico 1694 - 1875. Window Rock, Arizona: Research Section, The
^ Similar words occur in
Jicarilla Chíshín and Lipan
Chishį́į́hį́į́ "Forest Lipan".
^ Opler lists three
Chiricahua bands, while Schroeder lists five
^ Goodwin, p.55
^ a b c Roberts, Susan A.; Roberts, Calvin A. (1998). A History of New
Mexico. Albuquerque, NM: University of
New Mexico Press.
pp. 48–49. ISBN 0-8263-1792-8.
^ Cordell, p. 148
^ Seymour 2004, 2009 a, 2009 b, 2010
^ Hammond and Rey
^ a b Henderson
^ Seymour 2004, 2009b, 2010
^ Cordell, p. 151
^ DeLay, Brian, The War of a Thousand Deserts. New Haven: Yale U
Press, 2008, p.298
^ Basso, p. 462
^ Miles, page 526
^ "Stephanie Woodward, "Native Americans Expose the Adoption Era and
Repair Its Devastation", Indian Country Today Media Network, Retrieved
3 March 2013.
^ Opler 1983a, p.369
^ Basso 1983
^ Opler 1936b
^ All kinship terms in
Apache languages are inherently possessed,
which means they must be preceded by a possessive prefix. This is
signified by the preceding hyphen.
^ Opler, 1941, pp.22–23, 385–386
^ Seymour 2009a, 2010b
^ Carolyn Casey. The Apache, Marshall Cavendish, 2006, p. 18
^ Information on
Apache subsistence are in Basso (1983: 467–470),
Foster & McCollough (2001: 928–929), Opler (1936b: 205–210;
1941: 316–336, 354–375; 1983b: 412–413; 1983c: 431–432; 2001:
945–947), and Tiller (1983: 441–442).
^ Brugge, p.494
Western Apache Beaded Shirt." History: Jewelry." Archived
2011-10-02 at the Wayback Machine.
Arizona State Museum. (retrieved 4
^ Moerman, Daniel E. (2010). Native American Food Plants: An
Ethnobotanical Dictionary. Timber Press. p. 215.
^ The name
Mescalero is, in fact, derived from the word mescal, a
reference to their use of this plant as food.
^ "We Shall Remain: Geronimo, The American Experience". PBS. Archived
from the original on 9 December 2009. Retrieved November 10,
^ a b Opler 1983a, pp.368–369
^ Basso, 1969, p.30
^ Opler 1983a, pp. 372–373
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"Apache", Encyclopedia of
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Indigenous peoples of Arizona
Contemporary peoples native to Arizona
Prehistoric cultures in Arizona
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Native American tribes in Oklahoma
Cheyenne and Arapaho
Fort Sill Apache
Sac and Fox
Chiwere (Iowa and Otoe)
Mesquakie (Fox, Kickapoo, and Sauk)