By 1600, they reached the state of Arizona. They fought many wars among other tribes and they became well
          known for their great skill in warfare and their extraordinary endurance. When not at war, they were the exact
          opposite of "fierce." They were gentle people, fair to others, and extremely faithful to their friends.

          As soon as an Apache boy could walk, training began to make him a warrior. If he got in trouble for doing
          something wrong, the punishment would be to run up a mountain trail without stopping to catch his breath. Other
          times, he would be sent to run after white-tailed deer or antelope and told to catch them. Many times the boys
          would be forced to go without food or sleep for days at a time and they could only bathe in the frigid mountain
          streams. Everything they did was to train their minds and bodies for war!

          By the 1800s, the Apaches had formed three tribes near Arizona's Pinal Mountains: the Coyotes, the Tontos and
          the Pinals. In the 1870s, white men began to edge out and attack the Apaches, taking over their lands and camps.
          The Apache tribes were forced into setting up strongholds (places of security) in the mountains to the north and
          to the east. The Pinal Apaches developed their stronghold at the top of "Big Picacho," a treacherous face of
          the Pinal Mountains on its western edge. Because of this location, the Apaches were confident and felt safe
          from attack from the U.S. Cavalry.

          In the fall of 1870, the Apaches carried out extensive raids to take the white men's cattle and horses. Because
          of this, General George Stoneman built an outpost, a settlement of troops that would protect them from the
          Apaches. This Cavalry settlement became known as "Picket Post," located at the foot of the Pinal Mountains.
          The troops at this outpost were well aware that a tribe of Apaches lived on the top of Big Picacho, but they had
          never been able to find the trail to the top.

          In late 1870, the Apaches made another significant raid on the white settlers in the area. The Cavalry, from
          nearby Camp Pinal, along with some volunteers, went after them, searching for the secret trail that would lead
          them to the top of the towering cliffs and to the Apache camp.

          No official record exists of the Cavalry's raid on the sleeping Apaches, but it is believed that after the military
          discovered the Apache's trail to their camp, they hid, waiting for dawn to make their attack. As dawn broke,
          they took the Apaches by surprise, killing 50. The rest of the tribe retreated to the edge of the cliff with
          no weapons and no chance of escape. The 25 remaining warriors chose to die by leaping over the cliff's edge.
          Thereafter, the cliff became known as the Apache Leap.

          Legend says that the Apache women gathered at the base of the cliff for a whole moon (27.3 days) to mourn
          their brave warriors and their renowned fighting spirit. Their tears were filled with immense grief. The
          Apache gods felt the sincerity of their sorrow and a strange phenomenon began to occur. As their tears fell,
          they became imbedded into the dark, black obsidian stones that covered the ground beneath the cliff.

          These mysterious stones later became known as "Apache Tears." When held to the light the stones become
          translucent, allowing the light to shine through, showing the shape of a tear drop. It is believed that each of
          these stones carries a tear of an Apache widow whose warrior husband had died, along with tears that were
          shed for the land that they lost to the white men.

          For those who possess one of these unique stones, it is claimed that the Apache Tear will protect them from
          being taken advantage of and will also bring them good luck. But most importantly, whoever owns one will never
          have to cry again — the Apache women have already shed their tears for them. Copyright 2012.

          Karr, A. (1951). Apache Indians; raiders of the Southwest.
          Hatfield, S. B. (1947). Chasing shadows : Indians along the United States-Mexico border, 1876-1911.
          Robinson, S. K. (2000) Apache voices : their stories of survival as told to Eve Ball.
        american indian jewelry
          It was a long, long time ago,
          somewhere around the year 1500.
          Native tribes occupied a great
          part of the Southwestern United
          States. One of these tribes was
          the renowned Apaches, meaning
          "fighting men." They lived in areas
          of mountains, deserts and plains —
          land that hardened them into
          fierce warriors when defending
          their people.