The Apache dominated much of northern Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas for hundreds of years. It is estimated that about 5,000 Apache lived in the Southwest in 1680 AD. Some Apache lived in the mountains, while others lived on the plains.
The Apache traditionally lived in the Southern Great Plains including Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. They are closely related to the Navajo Indians. The Apache lived in two types of traditional homes; wikiups and teepees.
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.
They’re known as Apaches, and they don’t just live in the United States. They have homes and communities in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Sonora, northern Durango, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas. That, although in Mexico, Apaches do not officially exist.
The Apache maintained a presence in northern Mexico in subsequent decades, but the Lipan and Mescalero were often found in the region of south and Central Texas, particularly on the Nueces, the San Antonio, and Guadalupe river areas as well as the Colorado.
The Comanches, known as the “Lords of the Plains”, were regarded as perhaps the most dangerous Indians Tribes in the frontier era. One of the most compelling stories of the Wild West is the abduction of Cynthia Ann Parker, Quanah’s mother, who was kidnapped at age 9 by Comanches and assimilated into the tribe.
White Mountain Apache Tribe is located in the east central region of Arizona, 194 miles northeast of Phoenix. Located on the Apache, Gila and Navajo Counties, the White Mountain Apaches reside on 1.6 million acres at its ancestral homeland on the Fort Apache Indian 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.
Geronimo (1829-1909) was an Apache leader and medicine man best known for his fearlessness in resisting anyone–Mexican or American—who attempted to remove his people from their tribal lands.
The Apache tribe were a strong, proud war-like people. There was inter-tribal warfare and conflicts with the Comanche and Pima tribes but their main enemies were the white interlopers including the Spanish, Mexicans and Americans with whom they fought many wars due to the encroachment of their tribal lands.
The Navajo and the Apache are closely related tribes, descended from a single group that scholars believe migrated from Canada. When the hunter-gatherer ancestors of the Navajo and Apache migrated south, they brought their language and nomadic lifestyle with them.
Traditional Apache religion was based on the belief in the supernatural and the power of nature. Nature explained everything in life for the Apache people. White Painted Woman gave our people their virtues of pleasant life and longevity.
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 Comanche (/kuh*man*chee/) were the only Native Americans more powerful than the Apache. The Comanche successfully gained Apache land and pushed the Apache farther west. Because of this, the Apache finally had to make peace with their enemies, the Spaniards. They needed Spanish protection from the Comanche.
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.