History of the
There are six main Apache groups, each of which speaks a different
The Kiowa-Apache living near the Kiowa on the Southern Plains,
The Lipan of eastern New Mexico and western Texas,
The Jicarilla of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado,
The Mescalero of central New Mexico,
The Chiricahua of southern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico,
The Western Apache (or Coyotero) of central Arizona.
In historic times, various subgroups formed with their own tribal
Chiricahua were subdivided into the Chiricahua, Mimbreno,
Mogollon (a name also applied to a prehistoric culture), and
Warm Springs (Ojo Caliente), and the Western Apache included the
San Carlos, White Mountain, Cibecue, and Tonto.
were a nomadic people, ranging over a wide area of what is now the
United States; some groups roamed into Mexico as well. They were
primarily hunter-gatherers, with some bands hunting buffalo (American
bison) and some practicing limited farming. For centuries they were
fierce warriors, adept in wilderness survival, who carried out raids on
those who encroached on their territory.
first intruders were the Spanish, who drove northward into
Apache territory in the late 1500s.
The Spanish penetration disrupted Apache trade connections with
neighboring tribes. When New Mexico became a Spanish colony in
1598, hostilities increased between Spaniards and Apache.
An influx of Comanche into traditional Apache territory in the early
1700s forced the Lipan and other Apache to move south of their main food
source, the buffalo. These displaced Apache began raiding Pueblo Indians
and non-Indian settlers for food.
Apache raids on
settlers and migrants crossing their lands continued into the period of
American westward expansion and the United States acquisition of New
Mexico in 1848.
Some Apache bands and the United States military authorities engaged in
fierce wars until the Apache were pacified and moved to reservations.
The Mescalero were subdued by 1868 and placed on a reservation at Fort
Sumner in eastern New Mexico with the Navajo.
Apache and their Yavapai allies were subdued in the U.S. military’s
Tonto Basin Campaign of 1872-1873. The Chiricahua chief Cochise signed a
treaty with the U.S. government in 1872 and moved with his band to an
Apache reservation in Arizona. But Apache resistance continued under the
Mimbreno chief Victorio from 1877 to 1880.
band of Apache raiders, active in ensuing years under the Chiricahua
chief Geronimo, was hunted down in 1886 and sent first to Florida,
then to Alabama, and finally to the Oklahoma Territory, where they
settled among the Kiowa-Apache!!
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