The Apache ate a wide variety of food, but their main staple was corn, also called maize, and meat from the buffalo. They also gathered food such as berries and acorns. Another traditional food was roasted agave, which was roasted for many days in a pit. Some Apaches hunted other animals like deer and rabbits.
The Western Apache were hunters and gatherers. They moved often in search of water, to hunt, and wild plant food. They never relied on crops as their sole or primary food supply.
The Jicarilla farmed fairly extensively, growing corn (maize) and other vegetables, and also hunted bison extensively. The Mescalero were influenced by the Plains tribes’ corn- and bison-based economies, but their chief food staple was the mescal plant (hence the name Mescalero).
Meat was an important part of the Apache diet. The Apache hunted deer, wild turkeys, jackrabbits, coyote, javelin, fox, beavers, bears and mountain lions, but the primary animal hunted was the buffalo. Buffalo hunts were held twice a year.
Apache warriors hunted buffalo on the grassy plains. They hunted antelope on the prairies and deer in the mountains. They killed only what they needed for their immediate use. Their weapons were simple, but the men were swift and cunning hunters.
The Apache used a variety of natural resources depending on the region they lived in. The Plains Apache relied on the buffalo for food, bone, and
The Apaches were not farming people like their cousins the Navajos. Primarily they were hunters. Apache men hunted buffalo, deer, antelope, and small game, while women gathered nuts, seeds, and fruit from the environment around them.
For centuries they were fierce warriors, adept in wilderness survival, who carried out raids on those who encroached on their territory. Religion was a fundamental part of Apache life.
Today most of the Apache live on five reservations: three in Arizona (the Fort Apache, the San Carlos Apache, and the Tonto Apache Reservations); and two in New Mexico (the Mescalero and the Jicarilla Apache). About 15,000 Apache Indians live on this reservation.
The Apache tribe was a nomadic group, and their lives revolved around the buffalo. They wore buffalo skins, slept in buffalo-hide tents, and ate buffalo for their sustenance. They were one of the first Indian tribes to learn to ride horses, and they quickly began using horses in order to hunt the buffalo.
The weapons used by Apache tribe were originally bows and arrows, stone ball clubs, spears and knives. The rifle was added as their favored weapon with the advent of the white invaders.
All Apaches relied primarily on hunting of wild game and gathering of cactus fruits and other wild plant foods. Hunting was a part of daily life and provided food, clothing, shelter, and blankets. The Apache hunted deer, wild turkeys, jackrabbits, coyote, javelin, fox, beavers, buffalo, bears, and mountain lions.
The chief deity of the Chiricahua Apache was Ussen, whose will governed all. Ussen existed before the creation of the universe. He created the first Mother with no parents who sang four times, a sacred number to the Chiricahua Apache.
Apache boys and girls played games that kept them fit. Archery was an important competition sport, as the bow and arrow was their main weapon. Apache kids also played toe and toss games to develop coordination, balance, and strength.
Apaches used nearly every part of the buffalo in creative ways beyond eating the meat and using the hide for clothing and shelter. They also used the bones of buffalo to make strong tools that sharpened and cut easily.