Apache History  

            The Apache Indians were late arrival in the Southwest,
            having drifted down from then  Canadian homeland about 500
            years ago.

            They did not settle down to become primarily herders and
            farmers as other pueblo peoples did.

            Instead, for centuries they zealously maintained their
            reputation as ferocious warriors and raiders by striking
            hard, time and again, at the various Pueblo tribes to kill and

            Loosely organized into bands of hunters and raiders, all
            Apache Indians tribes or groupings shared a common language.

            Cultural traits the Apache Indian came to exhibit
            varied widely from band to band depending, in large measure,
            on the particular region each group roamed and the customs they borrowed from the peoples with whom they
            came into contact.

            The Jicarilla Apache Indians, of present-day northern New Mexico, for example, adopted many of the
            characteristics of the Plains Indians and became buffalo hunters, but they also did some farming, having learned
            the rudiments of agriculture from the Pueblos.

            The Lipan Apache Indians, on the other hand, did little farming, preferring to engage in hunting, gathering, and
            raiding throughout eastern New Mexico and west Texas. Yet another group joined the plains-dwelling Kiowas to
            become the Kiowa Apache Indians.

            The Mescaleros of South-central New Mexico, so known for their appetite for the mescal plant, lived exclusively
            by hunting, gathering, and raiding, while the Chiricahuas, who ranged through southern Arizona and New Mexico,
            achieved a reputation as the fiercest of all Apache Indians.

            The Western Apache Indians, of east-central Arizona. These included the White Mountain, Cibecue, San Carlos,
            and orthern and Southern Tonto subdivisions. They farmed more extensively than the others and were closely
            linked in language and culture to the Navajos.

            Apache Indians had no central tribal government. The band; within each tribe had headmen, whose positions
            were maintained through their persuasiveness and warlike prowess. Each band was made up of a number of
            extended families, and together they loosely controlled a region. Yet even within the bands there was little
            organized government, and warriors were free to carry out raids on their own.

            Peculiarly, for so militant a people, the Apache Indians bad a horror of death. Enemy scalps had to be purified in
            smoke to make them safe and, when a band member died, he was quickly buried, his dwelling and possessions
            burned. Then the mourners purged themselves in sagebrush smoke and moved away from the immediate area to
            escape harm from the ghost of the deceased.
            Copyright 2012

            Haley, J. Apaches: A History and Culture Portrait. 1997.
            Roberts, D. Once They Moved Like The Wind : Cochise, Geronimo, And The Apache Wars. 1994.
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          american indian jewelry