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.
While her husband hunted game, instructed the sons, raided enemies, made war and pursued personal and tribal glory and prestige, the Apache wife took charge of nurturing the family, instructing the daughters, tending the home and crafting clothing and household goods.
According to James F. Haley in his book Apaches: A History and Culture Portrait, the Apache woman harvested wild food plants, including – according to the season and location – yucca bloom stalks and fruit, prickly pear cactus fruit, cattail (or tule) roots and shoots, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, sumac fruit, one-seed juniper berries, pinyon pine cone nuts, walnuts, acorns, screw beans, mesquite beans, sunflower seeds and many other wild plant foods.
In late spring, she joined with other women to harvest the hearts of agave plants, the Apaches’ most important wild food plant. She had to dig up the hearts – each roughly two to three times the size of a fist – and cut away the spiny leaf tips. She participated in digging a communal roasting pit, perhaps 15 feet in diameter and three to four feet in depth. (I have seen Apache agave roasting pits which were significantly larger, for instance, in the desert basin just west of the Guadalupe Mountains in western Texas.) According to Haley, the women filled the pit with firewood, which they topped with flat stones. After a ceremony and prayer, they lit the firewood, which they allowed to burn down to coals. They covered the coals and heated flat stones with a layer of damp grass, then the agave hearts, then another layer of damp grass. They capped the pit with soil, then built another fire on top of the earthen cap. They roasted the agave hearts for a day or more, until the plants had cooked fully. After they uncovered the roasted agave hearts, they carried them on their backs, in burden baskets, back to their encampment where they preserved them by drying them in the sun.
The Apache woman worked unendingly to answer the call to provide food for her family, but she also helped build shelters (brush and hide structures called "wickiups,") gathered firewood, processed and tanned hides, cut and sewed leather clothing and bags, carved gourd water containers and utensils, wove basketry and crafted pottery and caulk-lined wicker water jugs. Somehow she also found time to have modest cosmetic designs tattooed on her cheeks and forehead. She made necklaces and pendants of trade beads and mirrors. She took elaborate care of her hair, shampooing it with the lather from soap tree yucca roots, parting it down the middle, allowing it to fall freely across her shoulders and down her back. Meanwhile, she taught her daughters the disciplines and arts of the life of an Apache woman.