Apache on Horseback, 1907 (Click Here for more
Apache Indian Pictures)
a branch of the Athabascan stock. They are mostly wanderers, and have
roamed as marauders over portions of
Mexico, and Arizona, in the United States, and several of the northern
provinces of Mexico. Wanderers, they do not cultivate the soil, and have
only temporary chiefs to lead them. Civil government they have none.
Divided into many roving bands, they resisted all attempts by the
Spanish to civilize and Christianize them, but constantly attacked these
Europeans. So early as 1762, it was estimated that the Apaches had
desolated and depopulated 174 mining towns, stations, and missions in
the province of Sonora alone. For fifty years a bold chiefŚMangas
ColoradoŚled powerful bands to war; and since the annexation of their
territory to the United States, they have given its government more
trouble than any of the Western Indians. Colorado was killed in 1863.
Apaches also had the famed "Geronimo" as a
chief and medicine man. Geronimo battled both Mexican and
United States troops and became notorious for his daring exploits,
raids, and numerous escapes from the military. In the end, 38 men,
women and children evaded 5000 U.S. Army troops and the Mexican
authorities for twelve months. His warriors became the last major force
of independent Indians who refused to acknowledge the United States
Government. This ended September 4, 1886, when Geronimo surrendered to
United States Army.
Though fierce in war, they never scalp or torture their enemies. A Great
Spirit is the central figure in their simple system of theology, and
they reverence as sacred certain animals, especially a pure white bird.
In 1900 the members of the tribe in the United States were classified as Coyotera,
Jicarilla, Mescalero, San Carlos, Tonto, and White Mountain Apaches, and
were located in Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. They numbered 6,113.