About Apache Tracker
Apache Tracker is a resource about survival, being a Physical and Spiritual warrior, and oneness with nature or "the spirit that moves in all things." I named this site in honor of the Apache. The Apache was the ultimate, survivor, warrior, guerrilla fighter, and lived in tune with his surroundings, on a spiritual and physical level. However you will find many other topics of interest on this site. Tracking is a mind set and awareness that goes beyond the physical to all levels, including the spiritual.
About the Author
About the Author
Roger Thunderhands Gilbert is an accomplished writer, musician, and artist. In his lifetime, he has done many things. These would include aviation, the martial arts, and a life long study of spiritual and tribal ritual. In the martial arts, his study has included three disciplines, Aikido, Kung Fu San Soo, and Tai Chi. He also worked with the Special Forces in a training capacity. In the field of aviation, he obtained his private, commercial, and instrument ratings as a pilot, with multi-engine, and flight instructor qualifications. He learned tracking as a boy and has worked with the sheriff’s search and rescue in that capacity. His spiritual knowledge includes in-depth study, and personal experience, with many shamanistic and esoteric practices. He is a practitioner of Kriya yoga, Kundalini yoga, Tantrika, and Chinese inner alchemy. In addition, he received his certificate in acupressure and uses several modalities for healing. He considers himself an authority on the Biblical teachings of Yeshua or Jesus, but considers himself spiritual, not religious. And last but not least, he has done an exhaustive study and been an activist of North American Native tribes and ritual. His own roots are of Métis descent, and his spirituality is universal.
Apache Nations and Tribes
Apache is the collective name for several culturally related tribes of Native Americans, aboriginal inhabitants of North America, who speak a Southern Athabaskan language. The modern term excludes the related Navajo people.The origin of the name Apache is uncertain. It may derive from the Yavapai word epache, meaning "people". The origin has also been claimed to be the Zuni word apachu, meaning "enemy" (but this may have been the Zuni name for the Navajo people) or an unspecified Quechan word meaning "fighting-men".
The Apaches formerly ranged over southeastern Arizona and north-western Mexico. The chief divisions of the Apaches were the Arivaipa, Chiricahua, Coyotero, Faraone Gileno, Llanero, Mescalero, Mimbreno, Mogollon, Naisha, Tchikun and Tchishi. They were a powerful and warlike tribe, constantly at enmity with the whites. The final surrender of the tribe took place in 1886, when the Chiricahuas, the division involved, were deported to Florida and Alabama, where they underwent military imprisonment. The U.S. Army, in their various confrontations, found them to be fierce warriors and skillful strategists. The Apaches are now in reservations in Arizona, New Mexico and Oklahoma, and number between 5000 and 6000.
The word "Apache" comes from the Yuma word for "fighting-men". It also comes from a Zuni word meaning "enemy". The Zuni name for Navajo was called "Apachis de Nabaju" by the earliest Spaniards exploring New Mexico. They called themselves Inde, or Nide "the people".
The Apache Nation is composed of six regional groups:
* Jicarilla - Tinde - an Apache people currently living in New Mexico and to the Southern Athabaskan language they speak. The term jicarilla comes from Mexican Spanish meaning 'little basket'. During their zenith in the SouthWest, two divisions of the Jicarilla Apache were known: the Llanero, or "plains people," and the Hoyero, the "mountain people." They roamed from central and eastern Colorado into western Oklahoma, and as far south as Estancia, New Mexico. As a result of their eastern contacts, the Jicarilla adopted certain cultural traits of the Plains Indians, as did the Mescalero who also ranged the eastern plains. The Jicarilla of northeastern New Mexico hunted buffalo in the plains, and planted corn in the mountains.
* Mescalero - Faraon - Native American tribe of Southern Athabaskan stock currently living on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in southcentral New Mexico where they live with other Chiricahua and Lipan Apaches. The Reorganization Act of 1936 consolidated the tribes onto this reservation, which currently has an Apache population of approximately 4,000. The population is integrated with the rest of Lincoln county, which includes ranching and tourism as major sources of income.
The Mescalero to the south were originally hunter-gatherers who developed an appetite for the roasted heads of wild mescal plants. The Mescalero band consisted of followers and a headman. They had no formal leader such as a tribal chief, or council, nor a decision making process. The core of the band was a "relative group", predominantly--but not necessarily kinsmen. They were named by the Spanish for the mescal cactus the Apaches used for food, drink, and fiber.
They moved freely, wintering on the Rio Grande or farther south, ranging the buffalo plains in the summer, always following the sun and the food supply. They owned nothing and everything. They did as they pleased and bowed to no man. Their women were chaste. Their leaders kept their promises. They were mighty warriors who depended on success in raiding for wealth and honor. To their families they were kind and gentle, but they could be unbelievably cruel to their enemies - fierce and revengeful when they felt that they had been betrayed.
* Chiricahua - southwestern New Mexico, southeastern Arizona, and adjacent Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora. They were the fiercest of all tribal groups, raided along the Mexican border. The band was the informal political unit, consisting of followers and a headman. They had no formal leader such as a tribal chief, or council, nor a decision making process. The core of the band was a "relative group," predominantly, but not nessarily, kinsmen. Named by the Spanish for the mescal cactus the Apaches used for food, drink, and fiber. The basic shelter of the Chiricahua was the domeshaped wickiup made of brush. Similar the Navajo, they also regarded coyotes, insects, and birds as having been human beings; the human race, then, but following in the tracks of those who have gone before.
* Lipan - Lipan Apache are also known as Nide buffalo hunters, called by anthropologists and historians for many years as Eastern Apache, Apache de los Llanos, Lipan, Ipande, and other names. Today it is known that the Cuelgahen Nde Lipan Apache of Texas comprise the descendents of the Tall Grass People known as Lipan Apache - Apache following Chiefs Cuelga de Castro, John Castro, and Ramon Castro. Lipan Apache is also an Southern Athabaskan language spoken by Meredith Begay, Ted Rodriguez, and others on the Mescalero Apache Reservation. The general consensus of the Lipan Apache Committee on the same reservation is that linguistic and anthropological considerations of their cultural extinction are mistaken and incorrect.
* Kiowa - Gataka Nation of Native Americans who lived mostly in the plains of west Texas, Oklahoma and eastern New Mexico at the time of the arrival of Europeans. Currently the Kiowa Nation is a registered tribe, with about 6000 members living in southwestern Oklahoma in 1989. The Kiowas originated in the northern basin of the Missouri River, but migrated south to the Black Hills around 1650 and lived there with the Crow. Pushed southward by the invading Cheyennes and Sioux who were being pushed out of their lands in the great lake regions by the Objiwe tribes, the Kiowas moved down the Platte River basin to the Arkansas River area. There they fought with the Comanches, who already occupied the land. Around 1790, the two groups made an alliance and agreed to share the area. From that time on, the Comanches and Kiowas formed a deep bond; the peoples hunted, travelled, and made war together. An additional group, the Plains Apache (also called Kiowa-Apache), also affiliated with the Kiowas at this time.The Kiowas lived a not atypical Plains Indian lifestyle. Mostly nomadic, they survived on buffalo meat and gathered vegetables, living in tipis, and depended on their horses for hunting and military uses. The Kiowa were notorious for long-distance raids as far north as Canada and south into Mexico. After 1840 the Kiowas joined forces with their former enemies, the Cheyennes, as well as the Comanches and the Apaches, to fight and raid the Eastern natives then moving into the Indian Territory. The United States military intervened, and in the Treaty of Medicine Lodge of 1867 the Kiowa agreed to settle on a reservation in southwestern Oklahoma. Some bands of Kiowas remained at large until 1875. On August 6, 1901 Kiowa land in Oklahoma was opened for white settlement, effectively dissolving the contiguous reservation. While each Kiowa head of household was alloted 80 acres, the only land remaining in Kiowa tribal ownership today is what was the scattered parcels of 'grass land' which had been leased to the white settlers for grazing before the reservation was opened for settlement.
* Western Apache - Pinal Coyotero - most of eastern Arizona which include the White Mountain, Cibuecue, San Carlos, and Northern and Southern Tonto bands. They are reputed by tradition to have been the first of the Apache to have penetrated below the Little Colorado among the Pueblo peoples, with whom they intermarried (Bourke in Jour. Am. Folklore, III, 112, 1890). They possessed the country from San Francisco mountains to the Gila until they were subdued by Gen. Crook in 1873. Since then they have peaceably tilled their land at San Carlos.
The Apaches are well-known for their superior skills in warfare strategy and inexhaustible endurance. Continuous wars among other tribes and invaders from Mexico followed the Apaches' growing reputation of warlike character. When they confronted Coronado in 1540, they lived in eastern New Mexico, and reached Arizona in the 1600s. The Apache are described as a gentel people; faithful in their friendship.