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 Apache did not grow food. They were hunters and gatherers. They used bows and arrows to kill deer and rabbits and other game. The women gathered berries, nuts, corn, and other fruits and vegetables.
Some Apache lived in the mountains, while others lived on the plains. Some hunted big game, while others existed by farming or gathering wild plants. Their main shelter, a circular brush lodge with a fire at the center, fit their nomadic lifestyle.
Apache hunted deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, buffalo, bears, mountain lions. There was no fishing. Eagles were hunted for their feathers.
Food was gathered according to the season. The Apache diet included a variety of game, berries, and nuts. Nuts were eaten fresh, or they were roasted, ground into flour using a metate and mano, then baked as bread.
The Western Apache were hunters and gatherers. The agave plant was prepared by trimming the heads of the spines, cooking them in a fire pit, after which they were rolled into flat sheets and dried in the sun.
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 total Apache Indian population today is around 30,000. How is the Apache Indian nation organized? There are thirteen different Apache tribes in the United States today: five in Arizona, five in New Mexico, and three in Oklahoma. Each Arizona and New Mexico Apache tribe lives on its own reservation.
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.
While the Apache were hunters, certain animals were considered “unclean,” so were not used as food. These unclean foods included prairie dogs, snakes, insects, and other reptiles and amphibians. The Apache also did not eat fish, as fish were also considered unclean.
The Western Apache language is a Southern Athabaskan language spoken among the 14,000 Western Apaches in east central Arizona.
The last of the Apache wars ended in 1886 with the surrender of Geronimo and his few remaining followers. The Chiricahua tribe was evacuated from the West and held as prisoners of war successively in Florida, in Alabama, and at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, for a total of 27 years.
Apache Clothes Most of the Apache clothing was made from leather or buckskin. The women wore buckskin dresses while the men wore shirts and breechcloths. Sometimes they would decorate their clothing with fringes, beads, feathers, and shells. They wore soft leather shoes called moccasins.
Apache women traditionally wore a 2-piece buckskin outfit with a poncho like blouse decorated with fringe on the side. It would feature a circular yoke with metal jingles on the edges. The top was made from one buckskin hide. Designs of triangles or half circle shapes were cut into the front and back of the top.