Apache

Words of an Elder

come my children and sit and listen... listen to my words..

Traditions

Apache is the collective name for several culturally related tribes of Native Americans, aboriginal inhabitants of North America, who speak a Southern Athabaskan language. The modern term excludes the related Navajo people.

Apache is a Zuñi language word that means "enemies" and was used by the Zuni to refer to the tribes that called themselves the Diné. It was adopted by Western settlers as the actual name of the Diné, although it was meant as slur by the Zuni. The Apache peoples migrated from the Northern Plains into the Southwest relatively recently. Noted leaders have included Cochise, Mangas Coloradas, and Geronimo.

The Apaches formerly ranged over southeastern Arizona and north-western Mexico. The chief divisions of the Apaches were the Arivaipa, Chiricahua, Coyotero, Faraone Gileno, Llanero, Mescalero, Mimbreno, Mogollon, Naisha, Tchikun and Tchishi. They were a powerful and warlike tribe, constantly at enmity with the whites. The final surrender of the tribe took place in 1886, when the Chiricahuas, the division involved, were deported to Florida and Alabama, where they underwent military imprisonment. The U.S. Army, in their various confrontations, found them to be fierce warriors and skillful strategists. The Apaches are now in reservations in Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma, and number between 5000 and 6000.

History

Chiricahua territory included what is now southwestern New Mexico, southwestern Arizona, and northern parts of the Mexican States of Sonora and Chihuahua.

When the Chiricahua Apaches were taken as Prisoners of War in 1886, their land totalled approximately 15,000,000 acres. Along with being imprisoned, the United States Government also took the Chiricahua land.

One hundred and two years later, four acres of sacred land were returned to the Chiricahua people through a generous gift from a concerned private citizen. The four acres adjoins the Cochise Stronghold in Cochise County, Arizona.

Detail of CD cover art for Traditional Apache Songs, Canyon Records Productions, used with permission

Healing Songs

Listen to two Healing Songs, “Mountain Spirit Dance” and “Horse Song”. Both may be found on the Traditional Apache Songs CD published by Canyon Records Productions. Used with permission.

This image is a detail from the cover art for the CD, Traditional Apache Songs, displayed here with the permission of Canyon Records Productions.

Stories

The Boy Who Lived With the Bears

There was once a boy whose father and mother had died and he was left alone in the world. The only person he had to take care of him was his uncle, but his uncle was not a kind man... Read more

The Girl and the Water Spirit

A girl went after water.
She arrived at the water hole.
She had started to fill the water bag.... Read more

The Mountain Spirits and the Old Woman

Long ago, the people were travelling.
And some old woman was among them.
And it seems they did not like her.Read more

The Apache and the Comanche

They were on the war path.

They stopped for the...

Read more

Recipes

Chigustéi
The Apache name for this bread can be translated as “cooked on embers”.... Full Recipe
Modern Version of Apache Dried Meat
Purchase several pounds of lean beef roast or round steak. Trim away any fat and cut up the meat into large very thin slices... Full Recipe
Meat Gravy - Taandile
...Full Recipe
Naadá¸á¸ Naaiska - Dried Corn
Pick field corn just as it gets ripe. The kernels will be sweet and juicy...Full Recipe