History of the Apache

These distinct groups can be organized by dialects:
The Western Apache (Coyotero) traditionally occupied most of eastern Arizona and included the White Mountain, Cibuecue, San Carlos, and Northern and Southern Tonto bands. San Carlos, Aravaipa, White Mountain, Northern Tonto, Southern Tonto, and Cibecue in Arizona, Chiricahua and Mimbreno in Arizona and New Mexico, Mescalero (Faraon) in New Mexico and Mexico, Jicarilla (Tinde) in New Mexico and Colorado, Kiowa-Apache (Gataka) in Oklahoma, and Lipan in Texas and Mexico. Western Apache (Coyotero), Eastern Arizona.

They exchanged buffalo hides, tallow and meat, bones that could be worked into needles and scrapers for hides, and salt from the desert with the Pueblos for pottery, cotton, blankets, turquoise, corn and other goods. But at times they simply saw what they wanted and took it. They became known among the Pueblo villages by another name, Apachu, "the enemy".

The Apache's guerrilla war tactics came naturally and were unsurpassed. The name Apache struck fear into the hearts of Pueblo tribes, and in later years the Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo-American settlers, which they raided for food, and livestock. The Apache and the Pueblos managed to maintain generally peaceful relations. But the arrival of the Spaniards changed everything. A source of friction was the activity of Spanish slave traders, who hunted down captives to serve as labor in the silver mines of Chihuahua in northern Mexico. The Apache, in turn, raided Spanish settlements to seize cattle, horses, firearms, and captives of their own. The prowess of the Apache in battle became legend. It was said that an Apache warrior could run 50 miles without stopping and travel more swiftly than a troop of mounted soldiers.

The Apache saw themselves differently, they faced constant struggle to survive. When they raided a village, they did so from pure necessity, to provide corn for their families when game was scarce. Most of the time they went their own way, moving from camp to camp in pursuit of deer and buffalo, collecting roots and berries, sometimes planting seeds that they later returned to harvest. They set up their camps on the outskirts of the pueblos. They dressed in animal skins, used dogs as pack animals, and pitched tent like dwellings made of brush or hide, called wikiups. The wickiup was the most common shelter of the Apache. The dome shaped lodge was constructed of wood poles covered with brush, grass, or reed mats. It contained a fire pit and a smoke hole for a chimney. The Jicarillas and Kiowa-Apaches, which roamed the Plains, used buffalo hide tepees. The basic shelter of the Chiricahua was the domeshaped wickiup made of brush. The Apache lived in extended family groups, all loosely related through the female line. (Matriarcial)…. Each group operated independently under a respected family leader….settling its own disputes, answering to no higher human authority

 

Excerpts taken from article by: July 2, 2005 by Who Else….PurpleHawk