- A fierce and warlike tribe of Indians of the Southwest. The Apache
were among the first Indians to ride horses. They were living in
New mexico when the early Spaniards arrived, and already had gained a reputation
as raiders and killers, swooping down on the Pueblo villages and settlements
of agricultural tribes in Arizona. The Zuñi gave them the
name Apachu, or "Enemy." After the Apache obtained horses
and firearms, they were more dangerous than ever, and were the white man's
greatest enemies in the desert country. New Mexico and Arizona were
known as the dreaded "Apache Country" or "Apache Territory."
The Apache were assigned to a reservation
in 1870 but a band under Cochise refused to live there and gave much trouble.
Three years later the United States troops had rounded up some 3,000 of
these Indians and placed them on reservations. But bands broke out
and continued their old life of killing and plundering. Victorio
led one troublesome band until he was killed in 1880. Geronimo became
the new leader of the hostile bands. After three years of warfare
Geronimo was defeated, and the Indians returned to the reservation.
But they left again and continued their warfare until Geronimo surrendered
There were eight or more tribes under the
general name Apache, chief among them the Kiowa Apache, Mescalero, Jicarilla,
and Chiricahua. Several tribes, including the Chiricahua, were grouped
under the name of the White Mountain Apache. One troublesome tribe
in Texas was called the Lipan Apache. The Apache gained such a bad
reputation that the French gave the name to their Parisian gangsters.
Except for some Apache in Mexico and a
few Lipan with the Tonkawa and Kiowa in Oklahoma, most of them are now
concentrated on reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. The name
Apache has been given to villages in Arizona and Oklahoma and to
a place, Apache Creek, in New Mexico, as well as the Apache Mountains in
Texas and Apache Peak in Arizona.
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