The Apache are a group of culturally related Native American tribes in the Southwestern United States, which include the Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Lipan, Mescalero, Mimbreño, Ndendahe, Salinero, Plains and Western Apache. Distant cousins of the Apache are the Navajo, with which they share the Southern Athabaskan languages. There are Apache communities in Oklahoma, Texas, and reservations in 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.
Historically, the 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 Mexico and 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. The first 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.
Contemporary tribesThe following Apache tribes are federally recognized:
- Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
- Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
- Jicarilla Apache Nation, New Mexico
- Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation, New Mexico
- San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation, Arizona
- Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona
- White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona
- Yavapai-Apache Nation of the Camp Verde Indian Reservation, Arizona
The 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 Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Apache Reservation, along with the Lipan Apache. The other Chiricahua are enrolled in the Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, headquartered in Apache, Oklahoma.
The Plains Apache are located in Oklahoma, headquartered around Anadarko, and are federally recognized as the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma.
NameThe 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 in the 1620s, referring to people in the Chama region east of the San Juan River. By the 1640s, they applied the term to southern Athabaskan peoples from the Chama on the east to the San Juan on the west. The ultimate origin is uncertain and lost to Spanish history.
Modern Apache people maintain use of the Spanish term to describe themselves and tribal functions, and the name is also employed by the US government. 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 Indé meaning 'person' 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 Navajo people.
The first known written record in Spanish is by Juan de Oñate in 1598. The most widely accepted origin theory suggests Apache was borrowed and transliterated from the Zuni word ʔa·paču meaning "Navajos".
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 "raccoon".
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 Navajo people.
Difficulties in namingMany of the historical names of Apache groups that were recorded by non-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 Apache and 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 s.
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 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 US 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 Greenville Goodwin classified the Western Apache into five groups : White Mountain, Cibecue, San Carlos, North Tonto, and South Tonto. Since then, other anthropologists 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. 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 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 among them as having definite Apache connections or names which the Spanish associated with the Apache.
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 namesThe list below is based on Foster and McCollough, Opler, and de Reuse.
The term 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 Apache languages.
Chiricahua - Mimbreño - Ndendahehistorically lived in Southeastern Arizona. Chíshí is a Navajo word meaning "Chiricahua, southern Apaches in general".
- Ch'úúkʾanén, true Chiricahua is the Eastern Chiricahua band identified by Morris Opler. The name is an autonym from the Chiricahua language.
- Gileño 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 Central Apache 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, 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. American writers first used the term to refer to the Mimbres.
- Mimbreño are the Tchihende, not a Chiricahua band but a central Apache division sharing the same language with the Chiricahua and the Mescalero divisions, 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, or Warm Springs and Copper Mines "Chiricahua" bands in southwestern New Mexico.
- * Copper Mines Mimbreño were located on upper reaches of Gila River, New Mexico, having their center in the Pinos Altos area.
- * Warm Springs Mimbreño were located on upper reaches of Gila River, New Mexico, having their center in the Ojo Caliente area.
- Ndendahe were a division comprising the Bedonkohe group and the Nedhni group, incorrectly called, sometimes, Southern Chirichua.
- *Mogollon was considered by Schroeder to be a separate pre-reservation Chiricahua band, while Opler considered the Mogollon to be part of his Eastern Chiricahua band in New Mexico.
- *Nedhni were the southernest group of the Central Apache, having their center in the Carrizal and Janos areas, in the Mexican state of Chihuahua.
- Carlana 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 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.
- Pelones lived far from San Antonio and far to the northeast of the Ypandes near the 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
- Faraones 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 term 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 western Texas.
- Limpia Mescaleros were a southern Mescalero group from the Limpia Mountains and roamed in what is now eastern New Mexico and western Texas.
- Natagés 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 Mescalero and the Salinero, 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 Apacheare 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.
- 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 bands.
- San Carlos. A Western Apache group that ranged closest to Tucson according to Goodwin. This group consisted of the Apache Peaks, Arivaipa, Pinal, San Carlos bands.
- *Arivaipa is a band of the San Carlos Apache. Schroeder believes the 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 in the Western Apache language.
- * Pinal. One of the bands of the San Carlos group of Western Apache, described by Goodwin. Also used along with Coyotero to 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 who assimilated 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, and Oak Creek bands; Southern Tonto consisted of the Mazatzal band and unidentified "semi-bands".
- 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.
- A full list of 134 ethnobotany plant uses for Western Apache can be found at http://naeb.brit.org/uses/tribes/14/.
- A full list of 165 ethnobotany plant uses for White Mountain Apache can be found at http://naeb.brit.org/uses/tribes/15/.
- A full list of 14 ethnobotany plant uses for the San Carlos Apache can be found at http://naeb.brit.org/uses/tribes/13/.
- Llanero is a Spanish-language borrowing meaning "plains dweller". The name referred to several different groups who hunted buffalo on the Great Plains.
- Lipiyánes. A coalition of splinter groups of Nadahéndé, Guhlkahéndé, and Lipan of the 18th century under the leadership of Picax-Ande-Ins-Tinsle, who fought the Comanche on the Plains. This term is not to be confused with Lipan.
Entry into the SouthwestThe Apache and 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 Apache and Navajo peoples 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 cultures.
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.
There are several hypotheses concerning Apache migrations. One posits that they moved into the Southwest from the Great Plains. In the mid-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 region, Francisco Coronado referred to the people as "dog nomads." He wrote:
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 on long trips, at rates as high as two or three miles per hour. 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 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 Apache has 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 established 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 Pueblo in established camps. Later Spanish sovereignty over the area disrupted trade between the Pueblo and the diverging Apache and Navajo groups. The 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 Southern 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.
Conflict with Mexico and the United StatesIn general, the recently arrived Spanish colonists, who settled in villages, and 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 Mexico in 1821. By 1835 Mexico had placed a bounty on Apache scalps, 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 or Dasoda-hae became the principal chief and war leader; also in 1837 Soldado Fiero, leader of the Warm Springs Mimbreño Apaches, was killed by Mexican soldiers near Janos, and his son Cuchillo Negro became the principal chief and war leader. They conducted a series of retaliatory raids against the Mexicans. By 1856, authorities in horse-rich Durango would claim that Indian raids 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 led to conflict with the Apache. This period is sometimes called the Apache Wars.
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:
Forced removalIn 1875, United States military forced the removal of an estimated 1500 Yavapai and Dilzhe'e 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 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, 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. At the San Carlos reservation, the Buffalo soldiers of the 9th Cavalry Regiment—replacing the 8th Cavalry who were being stationed to Texas—guarded the Apaches from 1875 to 1881.
Beginning in 1879, an Apache uprising against the reservation system led to Victorio's War between Chief Victorio's band of Apaches and the 9th Cavalry.
DefeatMost United States' histories of this era report that the final defeat of an 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 Florida at 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.
Social organizationAll Apache peoples lived in extended family units ; 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, into which men may enter upon marriage.
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.
on her head, ca.1900|left
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 in different 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 Chiricahua relatives 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 Apache cultures. 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 language.
Many 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.
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 six Apache tribes had political independence from each other and even fought against each other. For example, the Lipan once fought against the Mescalero.
Kinship systemsThe Apache tribes have two distinctly different kinship term systems: a 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 Navajo system.
The Jicarilla type, which is similar to the Dakota–Iroquois kinship systems, is used by the Jicarilla, Navajo, Lipan, and Plains Apache. The Navajo system is more divergent among the four, having similarities with the Chiricahua-type system. The Lipan and Plains Apache systems are very similar.
ChiricahuaThe 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
Chiricahua cousins are not distinguished from siblings through kinship terms. Thus, the same word will refer to either a sibling or a cousin. Additionally, the terms are used according to the sex of the speaker : -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 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 ", -deedééʼ "paternal aunt or uncle ". These two terms are reciprocal like the grandparent/grandchild terms. Thus, -ghúyé also refers to one's opposite-sex sibling's son or daughter.
EthnobotanyA list of 198 ethnobotany plant uses for the Chiricahua can be found at http://naeb.brit.org/uses/tribes/11/, which also includes the Mescalero.
JicarillaUnlike the 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 ; -tsóyéé refers to one's grandfather or one's grand-uncle. These terms are not reciprocal. There is a single word for grandchild : -tsóyí̱í̱.
There are two terms for each parent. These terms also refer to that parent's same-sex sibling: -ʼnííh "mother or maternal aunt ", -kaʼéé "father or paternal uncle ". Additionally, there are two terms for a parent's opposite-sex sibling depending on sex: -daʼá̱á̱ "maternal uncle ", -béjéé "paternal aunt.
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 ", -´-láh "opposite-sex sibling or opposite parallel cousin ". 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 ". Additionally, there are separate words for cross-cousins: -zeedń "cross-cousin ", -iłnaaʼaash "male cross-cousin".
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".
HousingAll 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 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:
Recent research has documented the archaeological remains of Chiricahua 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."
FoodApache 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 agricultural products.
HuntingHunting was done primarily by men, although there were sometimes exceptions depending on animal and culture.
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 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 generosity.
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, but the 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 and considered to be snake-like in physical appearance.
The 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 River valleys.
The primary game of the Chiricahua was the deer followed by pronghorn. Lesser game included: cottontail rabbits, opossums, squirrels, surplus horses, surplus mules, wapiti, wild cattle, wood rats.
The Mescalero primarily hunted deer. Other animals hunted include: bighorn sheep, buffalo, 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.
ClothingInfluenced 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 sourcesThe 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 value.
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. The crowns of this plant and also the shoots were used. Other plants utilized by the Chiricahua include: agarita berries, alligator juniper berries, anglepod seeds, banana yucca fruit, chili peppers, chokecherries, cota, currants, dropseed grass seeds, Gambel oak acorns, Gambel oak bark, grass seeds, greens, hawthorne fruit, Lamb's-quarters leaves, lip ferns, live oak acorns, locust blossoms, locust pods, maize kernels, 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 fruit, saguaro fruit, spurge seeds, strawberries, sumac berries, sunflower seeds, tule rootstocks, tule shoots, pigweed tumbleweed seeds, unicorn plant seeds, walnuts, western yellow pine inner bark, western yellow pine nuts, whitestar potatoes, wild grapes, wild potatoes, wood sorrel leaves, and yucca buds. Other items include: honey from ground hives and hives found within agave, sotol, and narrowleaf yucca plants.
The abundant agave 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, aspen inner bark, bear grass stalks, box elder inner bark, banana yucca fruit, banana yucca flowers, box elder sap, cactus fruits, cattail rootstocks, chokecherries, currants, dropseed grass seeds, elderberries, gooseberries, grapes, hackberries, hawthorne fruit, and hops.
They also used horsemint, juniper berries, Lamb's-quarters leaves, locust flowers, locust pods, mesquite pods, mint, mulberries, pennyroyal, pigweed seeds, pine inner bark, pinyon pine nuts, prickly pear fruit, purslane leaves, raspberries, sage, screwbeans, sedge tubers, shepherd's purse leaves, strawberries, sunflower seeds, tumbleweed seeds, vetch pods, walnuts, western white pine nuts, western yellow pine nuts, white evening primrose fruit, wild celery, wild onion, wild pea pods, wild potatoes, and wood sorrel leaves.
The 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 grasses.
The most important plant food used by the Lipan was agave. 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, sunflowers, 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.
Ethnobotany of ApacheThis is a list of 54 ethnobotany plant uses for the uncategorized Apache. http://naeb.brit.org/uses/tribes/10/.
Crop cultivationThe Navajo practiced the most crop cultivation, the Western Apache, Jicarilla, and Lipan less. The one Chiricahua band and the Mescalero practiced very little cultivation. The other two Chiricahua bands and the Plains Apache did not grow any crops.
Trading, raiding, and warSome 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 or Euro-Americans, Apache tribes made clear distinctions between raiding and war. Raiding was done with small parties with a specific economic target. The Apache waged war with large parties, 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 between the Apache and settlers increased, the Mexican government passed laws offering cash rewards for Apache scalps.
ReligionApache religious stories relate to two culture heroes 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 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 and Mescalero.
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 anthropologist Keith Basso of the Western Apache's concept of diyí:
The termdiyí 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 purposes.
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 Jicarilla and Western Apache used standardized rituals as the more central ceremonial practice. Important standardized ceremonies include the puberty ceremony of young women, Navajo chants, 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..
Many Apache ceremonies use masked representations of religious spirits. Sandpainting is an important ceremony in the Navajo, Western Apache, and 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 neighboring Pueblo cultures.
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 food resources.
LanguagesThe five Apache languages are Apachean languages, which in turn belong to the Athabaskan branch of the Eyak-Athabaskan language family. All 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 ' and ' into '.
|"handle fabric-like object"||-tsooz||-tsooz||-tsuuz||-tsuudz||-tsoos||-tsoos||-tsoos|
Hoijer 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, Chiricahua, and Mescalero based on the merger of Proto-Apachean ' and ' 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 ' 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 has suggested that Hoijer's original formulation that 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, 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.
- Mangas Coloradas, Chief
- Cochise, Chief
- Victorio, Chief
- Geronimo, Leader
- Richard Aitson, Plains Apache beader
- William Alchesay, White Mountain scout, chief, Congressional Lobbyist
- Tammie Allen, Jicarilla potter
- Chatto, scout
- Mildred Cleghorn, Fort Sill tribal chairperson
- Dahteste, female warrior
- Gouyen, female warrior
- Lozen, female warrior
- Bob Haozous, Chiricahua sculptor
- Allan Houser, Chiricahua sculptor
- Vanessa Jennings, Kiowa Apache beadworker and regalia-maker
- Loco, Chief
- Ronnie Lupe, activist and White Mountain Apache tribal chairman
- Douglas Miles, San Carlos painter
- Naiche, Chief
- Nana, Chief
- Laura Ortman, Musician
- Deborah Parker, activist and indigenous leader
- Joanelle Romero, actress, filmmaker
- Jay Tavare, actor
- Taza, Chief
- Mary Kim Titla, publisher, journalist, former TV reporter, and a 2008 candidate for Arizona's First Congressional District
- Raoul Trujillo, dancer, choreographer, actor
- Eleven Medal of Honor recipients: see List of Native American Medal of Honor recipients.
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