CHAPTER I. INDIANS OF ARIZONA.


Up: Contents Previous: Contents. Volume VII. (As in the original volume) Next: CHAPTER II. THE APACHE (Continued).


[page 1]

THE APACHE.

Indians of Arizona—Apache—First Mention of — Tribal Groups — Aravaipa — Chiricahua—Apache Language Same as Tartar Chinese—Coyoteros — Pinal Coyotero— Pinaleños—Tontos—San Carlos Apache —Gila Apache—Mogollon—Mimbrenos — White Mountain—Tsiltaden.

This volume is devoted entirely to the Indians of Arizona. Before 1866 and 1867, many of the Apache tribes were unknown and a large part of their country was a terra incognita. At the time of which we write, 1869–1870, through constant warfare, all the tribes of the Colorado River, and their habitats, had become known, and much progress had been made in the exploration of what was called Apacheria in Arizona. Many of the hostile tribes had been located and their numbers computed. The military commanders up to General Crook did a great work in this direction. They built roads through the Apache country, kept up a constant fight with the Indians, and paved the way to a great extent, as we shall see, for the subjugation of these tribes by General Crook.


[page 2]

The following pages will give, as far as possible, the locations of the Indians, their habits, customs, and what can be gathered of their folklore and traditions. The latter, in fifty years from now, will be lost entirely; in fact, there are few Indians now living who have any knowledge whatever of the superstitions or customs of their ancestors.

Of the Indian tribes in Arizona, the Navaho was the largest and, with the exception of occasional thefts and marauding expeditions, was at peace with the whites.

The Maricopas, the Pimas and the Papagos have always been friendly, and the Yumas, after they were conquered by General Heintzelman, in 1853, were also friendly.

Many of the Mohaves and other Yuma tribes along the Colorado river were, at this time, gathered on the reservation, but they were all practically at war with the whites, it being said that they were fed on the reservation, and employed their spare time in robbing and killing the settlers, and the same may be said of the Wallapais, Apache-Yumas, and Apache-Mohaves or Yavapais. The Apache-Mohaves, a portion of the Mohave tribe, but affiliated with the Tonto Apaches, were among the most bloody and warlike of the Apache tribes.

The Tontos, Coyoteros, or White Mountain Apaches, the Pinaleños, what remained of the Aravaipas, the Pinals, the Chiricahuas, were all on the warpath. The Hopis and the Havasupais were always peaceable.

I give the following, compiled from Bulletin 30 of the Bureau of Ethnology of the Smithsonian

GROUP OF HOSTILE APACHES.


[page 3]

Institution, and the works of Captain John G. Bourke, J. Ross Browne, and the manuscript of Mike Burns, relating to the ranges of the Indians of Arizona in 1868 and 1869, and what is known of their previous history, legends and folklore:

APACHE (probably from apachu, “enemy,” the Zuni name for the Navaho, who were designated “Apaches de Nabaju” by the early Spaniards in New Mexico). A number of tribes forming the most southerly group of the Athapascan family. The name has been applied also to some unrelated Yuman tribes, as the Apache-Mohave (Yavapai) and Apache-Yuma. The Apache call themselves N'de, Dine, Tinde or Inde, “people.”

They were evidently not so numerous about the beginning of the 17th century as in recent times, their numbers apparently having been increased by captives from other tribes, particularly the Pueblo, Pima, Papago, and other peaceful Indians, as well as from the settlements of northern Mexico that were gradually established within the territory raided by them, although recent measurements by Hrdlicka seem to indicate unusual freedom from foreign admixtures. They were first mentioned as Apaches by Oñate in 1598, although Coronado, in 1541, met the Querechos (the Vaqueros of Benavides, and probably the Jicarillas and Mescaleros of modern times) on the plains of eastern New Mexico, and western Texas; but there is no evidence that the Apache reached as far west as Arizona until after the middle of the 16th century. From the time of the Spanish colonization


[page 4]

of New Mexico until within twenty years they have been noted for their warlike disposition, raiding white and Indian settlements alike, extending their depredations as far southward as Jalisco, Mexico. No group of tribes has caused greater confusion to writers, from the fact that the popular names of the tribes are derived from some local or temporary habitat, owing to their shifting propensities, or were given by the Spaniards on account of some tribal characteristic; hence some of the common names of apparently different Apache tribes or bands are synonymous, or practically so; again, as employed by some writers, a name may include much more or much less than when employed by others. Although most of the Apache have been hostile since they have been known to history, the most serious modern outbreaks have been attributed to mismanagement on the part of civil authorities.

Being a nomadic people, the Apache practiced agriculture only to a limited extent before their permanent establishment on reservations. They subsisted chiefly on the products of the chase and on roots (especially that of the maguey) and berries. Although fish and bear were found in abundance in their country, they were not eaten, being rejected as food. They had few arts, but the women attained high skill in making baskets. Their dwellings were shelters of brush, which were easily erected by the women and were well adapted to their arid environment and constant shifting. In physical appearance the Apache vary greatly, but are rather above the medium height. They are good talkers, are not readily


[page 5]

deceived, and are honest in protecting property placed in their care, although they formerly obtained their chief support from plunder seized in their forays.

The Apaches were divided into a number of tribal groups which have been so differently named and defined that it is sometimes difficult to determine to which branch writers refer. The most commonly accepted divisions were the

Until 1904 there lived with the Apache of Arizona a number of Indians of Yuma stock, particularly “Mohave-Apache,” or Yavapai, but these are now mostly established at old Camp McDowell. The forays and conquests of the Apache resulted in the absorption of a large foreign element, Piman, Yuman, and Spanish, although captives were treated with disrespect and marriages with them broke clan ties. The Pinal Coyoteros, and evidently also the Jicarillas, had some admixture of Pueblo blood. The Tontos were largely of mixed blood according to Corbusier, but Hrdlicka's observations show them to be pure Apache.

ARAVAIPA (Nevome Pima; aarivapa, “girls,” possibly applied to these people on account of some unmanly act). An Apache tribe whose home was in the canyon of Aravaipa creek, a tributary of the Rio San Pedro, southern


[page 6]

Arizona, although like the Chiricahua and other Apache of Arizona, they raided far southward, and were reputed to have laid waste every town in northern Mexico as far as the Gila, prior to the Gadsden purchase in 1853, and with having exterminated the Sobaipuri, a Piman tribe, in the latter part of the 18th century. A writer in Bulletin No. 30, of the Bureau of American Ethnology of the Smithsonian Institution, says: “In 1863 a company of California volunteers, aided by some friendly Apaches, at old Camp Grant, on the San Pedro, attacked an Aravaipa rancheria, at the head of the canyon, killing 58 of the 70 inhabitants, men, women, and children —the women and children being slain by the friendly Indians, the men by the Californians— in revenge for their atrocities. After this loss they sued for peace, and their depredations practically ceased.” I have been unable to find any record of this raid, and am forced to believe that the writer has reference to the Camp Grant massacre, which occurred in 1871, a full description of which is given in Volume 2 of this History, at page 269, et seq. About 1872 they were removed to San Carlos Agency. The remnant of this tribe is now under the San Carlos and Fort Apache agencies on the White Mountain reservation.

CHIRICAHUA (Apache: “great mountain”). An important division of the Apache, so called from their former mountain home in southeastern Arizona. Their own name is Aiaha. The writer last above quoted, in regard to this tribe, says: “The Chiricahua were the most warlike of the Arizona Indians, their raids extending


[page 7]

into New Mexico, southern Arizona, and northern Sonora, among their most noted leaders being Cochise, Victorio, Loco, Chato, Nachi, Bonito, and Geronimo.” This is evidently a mistake; Victorio, Loco and Geronimo were Mimbres Apaches, and some of the others belonged to other tribes, but were affiliated with the Chiricahuas by marriage. Physically they do not differ materially from the other Apache. The men are well built, muscular, with well developed chests, sound and regular teeth, and abundant hair. The women are even more vigorous and strongly built, with broad shoulders and hips and a tendency to corpulency in old age. They habitually wear a pleasant open expression of countenance, exhibiting uniform good nature, save when in anger, at which time their faces take on a savage cast. White thought their manner of life, general physique, and mental disposition seemed conducive to long life. Their characteristic long legged moccasins of deerskin had a stout sole turned up at the toes, and the legs of the moccasins, long enough to reach the thigh, were folded back below the knee, forming a pocket in which were carried paints and a knife. The women wore short skirts of buckskin, and the men used to display surplus skins folded about the waist. Their arrows were made of reed tipped with obsidian or iron, the shaft winged with three strips of feathers. They used in battle a long spear and when obtainable a sling shot made by inserting a stone into the green hide of a cow's tail, leaving a portion of the hair attached. They possessed no knowledge of weaving blankets. White supposed that


[page 8]

they had immigrated into Arizona from New Mexico three or four generations back. Their camps were located on the highlands in winter, that they might catch the warm rays of the sun, and in summer near the water among stunted trees that sheltered them from its scorching glare. Their bands or clans were named from the nature of the ground about their chosen territory. Both men and women were fond of wearing necklaces and ear pendants of beads. The hair was worn long and flowing, with a turban, to which was attached a flap hanging down behind; they plucked out the hairs of the beard with tweezers of tin, and wore suspended from their necks a small round mirror which they used in painting their faces with stripes of brilliant colors. Strings of pieces of shell were highly prized. Their customary dwelling was a rude brush hut, circular or oval, with the earth scooped out to enlarge its capacity. In winter they huddled together for warmth and, if the hut was large, built a fire in the center. When they changed camps they burned their huts, which were always built close together. They subsisted on berries, nuts, and the fruits of various trees, mesquite beans, and acorns, of which they were particularly fond, and they ground the seeds of different grasses on a large flat stone and made a paste with water, drying it afterward in the sun. In common with other Apache tribes they relished the fruit of the giant cacti and of the yucca, and made mescal from the root of the agave. Fish they would not eat, or pork, but an unborn calf and the entrails of animals they regarded as delicacies, and horse and mule flesh


[page 9]

was considered the best meat. Though selfish in most things, they were hospitable with food which was free to anyone who was hungry. They were scrupulous in keeping accounts and paying debts. Like many other Indians they would never speak their own names or on any account speak of a dead member of the tribe. They tilled the ground a little with wooden implements, obtaining corn and melon seeds from the Mexicans. In their clans all were equal. Bands, according to White, were formed of clans, and chiefs were chosen for their ability and courage, although there is evidence that chieftainship was sometimes hereditary, as in the case of Cochise, who appointed his oldest son his successor, which was confirmed or ratified by the tribe. Chiefs and old men were usually deferred to in council. They used the brain of the deer in dressing buckskin. It is said that they charged their arrows with a quick, deadly poison, obtained by irritating a rattlesnake with a forked stick, causing it to bite into a deer's liver, which, when saturated with the venom, was allowed to putrefy. They stalked the deer and the antelope by covering their heads with the skull of the animal and imitating with their crouching bodies the movements of one grazing; and it was their custom to approach an enemy's camp at night in a similar manner, covering their heads with brush. They signaled in war or peace by a great blaze or smoke made by burning cedar boughs or the inflammable spines of the giant cactus. Of their social organization very little is definitely known, and the statements of the two chief authorities are widely at


[page 10]

variance. According to White, the children belong to the gens of the father, while Bourke asserts that the true clan system prevails. They married usually outside of the gens, according to White, and never relatives nearer than a second cousin. A young warrior seeking a wife would first bargain with her parents and then take a horse to her dwelling. If she viewed his suit with favor she would feed and water the horse, and, seeing that, he would come and fetch his bride, and after going on a hunt for the honeymoon they would return to his people. When he took two horses to the camp of the bride and killed one of them, it signified that her parents had given her over to him without regard to her consent. Youth was the quality most desired in a bride. After she became a mother the husband might take a second wife, and some had as many as five, two or more of them often being sisters. Married women were usually faithful and terribly jealous, so that single girls did not care to incur their rage. A woman in confinement went off to a hut by herself, attended by her women relatives. Children received their earliest names from something particularly noticeable at the time of their birth. As among the Navahos, a man never spoke to his mother-in-law, and treated his wife's father with distant respect; and his brothers were never familiar with his wife nor he with her sisters and brothers. Faithless wives were punished by whipping and cutting off a portion of the nose, after which they were cast off. Little girls were often purchased or adopted by men who kept them until they were old enough for them


[page 11]

to marry. Frequently girls were married when only 10 or 11 years of age. Children of both sexes had perfect freedom, were not required to obey, and never were punished. The men engaged in pastimes every day, and boys in mock combats, hurling stones at one another with slings. Young wives and maidens did only light work; the heavy tasks were performed by the older women. People met and parted without any form of salute. Kissing was unknown. Except mineral vermilion, the colors with which they painted their faces and dyed grasses for baskets were of vegetable origin—yellow from beech and willow bark, red from the cactus. They would not kill the golden eagle, but would pluck its feathers, which they prized, and for the hawk and the bear they had a superstitious regard in lesser degree. They made tizwin, an intoxicating drink, from corn, burying it until it sprouted, grinding it, and then allowing the mash diluted with water to ferment. The women carried heavy burdens on their backs, held by a strap passed over the forehead. Their basket work was impervious to water and ornamented with designs similar to those of the Pima, except that human figures frequently entered into the decorative motive. Baskets 2 ½ feet in length and 18 inches wide at the mouth were used in collecting food, which was frequently brought from a great distance. When one of the tribe died, men carried the corpse, wrapped in the blankets of the deceased, with other trifling personal effects, to an obscure place in low ground and there buried it at once, piling stones over the grave to protected it from coyotes and other prowling


[page 12]

beasts. No women were allowed to follow, and no Apache ever revisited the spot. Female relatives kept up their lamentations for a month, uttering loud wails at sunset. The hut in which a person died was always burned and often the camp was removed. Widows used to cut off their hair and paint their faces black for a year, during which time the mourner lived in the family of the husband's brother, whose wife she became at the expiration of the time for mourning. They had a number of dances, notably the “devil dance,” with clowns, masks, head-dresses, etc., in which the participants jumped over a fire, and a spirited war dance, with weapons and shooting in time to a song. When anybody fell sick several fires were built in the camp, and while the others lay around on the ground with solemn visages, the young men, their faces covered with paint, seized firebrands and ran around and through the fires and about the lodge of the sick person, whooping continually and flourishing the brands to drive away the evil spirit. They had a custom, when a girl arrived at puberty, of having the other girls tread lightly on her back as she lay face downward, the ceremony being followed by a dance.

The Tartar Chinese speak the dialect of the Apaches. The Apaches bear a striking resemblance to the Tartar. About the year 1885, W. B. Horton, who had served as County Superintendent of Schools, at Tucson, was appointed Post Trader at Camp Apache, and went to San Francisco to purchase his stock, where he hired a Chinese cook. His kitchen adjoined his sleeping apartment, and one evening while in his


[page 13]

room he heard in the kitchen some Indians talking. Wondering what they were doing there at that hour of the night, he opened the door and found his cook conversing with an Apache. He asked his cook where he had acquired the Indian language. The cook said: “He speak all same me. I Tartar Chinese; he speak same me, little different, not much.” At Williams, in Navajo County, is another Tartar Chinaman, Gee Jim, who converses freely with the Apaches in his native language. From these facts it would seem that the Apache is of Tartar origin.

From the fact that the Apache language was practically the same as that of the Tartar Chinese, color is given to the theory advanced by Bancroft in his “Native Races,” Volume 5, p. 33, et seq., that Western America was “originally peopled by the Chinese, or, at least, that the greater part of the new world civilization may be attributed to these people.”

In this connection it may be stated that the swastika, which is an oriental emblem, is found on the painted rocks in the range of mountains south of Phoenix, according to Herbert R. Patrick, and this sign is used by most of the Arizona Indians in their basketry.

COYOTEROS (Spanish:“wolfmen”; so called in consequence, it is said, of their subsisting partly on coyotes or prairie wolves [Gregg, Com. Prairies, 1, 290, 1844]; but it seems more probable that the name was applied on account of their roving habit, living on the natural products of the desert rather than by agriculture or hunting). A division of the Apache, geographically


[page 14]

divided into the Pinal Coyoteros and the White Mountain Coyoteros, whose principal home was the western, or southwestern, part of the present White Mountain reservation, eastern Arizona, between San Carlos Creek and the Gila River, although they ranged almost throughout the limits of Arizona and western New Mexico. The name has evidently been indiscriminately applied to various Apache bands, especially to the Pinal Coyoteros, who are but a part of the Coyoteros.

PINAL COYOTEROS. A part of the Coyotero Apache, whose chief rendezvous was the Pinal Mountains and their vicinity, north of the Gila River in Arizona. They ranged, however, about the sources of the Gila, over the Mogollon mesa, and from northern Arizona to the Gila, and even southward. They are now under the San Carlos and Fort Apache agencies, where they are officially classed as Coyoteros.

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. They possessed the country from the San Francisco Mountains to the Gila, until they were subdued by General Crook in 1873. Since then they have peaceably tilled their land at San Carlos. White, for several years a surgeon at Fort Apache, says that they have soft, musical voices, uttering each word in a sweet, pleasant tone. He noted also their light hearted, childish ways and timid manner, their pleasant expression of countenance, and the beauty of their women. Married women


[page 15]

tattooed their chins in three blue vertical lines running from the lower lip.

PINALENOS (Spanish: “Pinery people”). A division of the Apache, evidently more closely related to the Chiricahua than to any other group. Their principal seat was formerly the Pinaleño Mountains, south of the Gila river in southeastern Arizona, but their raids extended far into Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico. They are now under the San Carlos and Fort Apache agencies, Arizona, being officially known as Pinals, but their numbers are not separately reported. The Pinaleños and the Pinal Coyoteros have often been confused.

TONTOS (Spanish: “fools,” so called on account of their supposed imbecility; the designation, however, is a misnomer). A name so indiscriminately applied as to be almost meaningless: (1) To a mixture of Yavapai, Yuma, and Mohave, with some Pinaleño Apache, placed on the Rio Verde reservation in 1873, and transferred to the San Carlos reservation in 1875; best designated as the Tulkepaia. (2) To a tribe of the Athapascan family well known as Coyotero Apache. (3) To the Pinaleños of the same family. (4) According to Corbusier, to a body of Indians descended from Yavapai men and Pinal Coyotero (Pinaleño) women who have intermarried. The term Tontos was therefore applied by writers of the 19th century to practically all the Indians roaming between the White Mountains of Arizona and the Colorado river, comprising parts of two linguistic families,


[page 16]

but especially to the Yavapai, commonly known as Apache-Mohave.

SAN CARLOS APACHE. A part of the Apache dwelling at the San Carlos agency, Arizona. The name has little ethnic significance, having been applied officially to those Apache living on the Gila river in Arizona, and sometimes referred to as Gileños, or Gila Apache.

GILA APACHE. The name Gila, or Xila, was apparently originally that of an Apache settlement west of Socorro, in southwestern New Mexico, and as early as 1630 was applied to those Apache residing for part of the time on the extreme headwaters of the Rio Gila in that territory, evidently embracing those later known as Mimbrenos, Mogollons and Warm Springs (Chiricahua) Apaches, and later extended to include the Apache living along the Gila river in Arizona. The latter were seemingly the Aravaipa and Chiricahua, or a part of them. There were about 4,000 Indians under this name in 1853, when some of their bands were gathered at Fort Webster, New Mexico, and induced by promises of supplies for a number of years to settle down and begin farming. They kept the peace and made some progress in industry, but were driven back to a life of pillage when the supplies were stopped, the treaty not having been confirmed. They are no longer recognized under this name. The term Gileños has also been employed to designate the Pima residing on the Gila in Arizona.

MOGOLLON (from the mesa and mountains of the same name in New Mexico and Arizona,


[page 17]

which, in turn, were named in honor of Juan Ignacio Flores Mogollon, governor of New Mexico in 1712–15). A subdivision of the Apache that formerly ranged over the Mogollon mesa and mountains in western New Mexico and eastern Arizona. They were associated with the Mimbrenos at the Southern Apache agency, New Mexico, in 1868, and at Hot Springs agency in 1875, and are now under the Fort Apache and San Carlos reservations in Arizona. They are no longer officially recognized as Mogollons.

MIMBRENOS (Spanish: “people of the willows”). A branch of the Apache who took their popular name from the Mimbres mountains, southwestern New Mexico, but who roamed over the country from the east side of the Rio Grande in New Mexico to the San Francisco river in Arizona, a favorite haunt being near Lake Guzman, west of El Paso, in Chihuahua. In habits they were similar to the other Apache, gaining a livelihood by raiding settlements in New Mexico, Arizona and Mexico. They made peace with the Mexicans from time to time, and before 1870 were supplied with rations by the military post at Janos, Chihuahua. They were sometimes called Coppermine Apaches on account of their occupancy of the territory in which the Santa Rita mines in southwestern New Mexico are situated. In 1875 a part of them joined the Mescaleros and a part was under the Hot Springs (Chiricahua) agency, New Mexico. They are now divided between the Mescalero reservation, New Mexico, and Fort Apache agency, Arizona.


[page 18]

The Indians of this tribe under Mangus Colorado, intermarried with the Chiricahuas, and upon the death of that chief joined with Cochise. Geronimo, Loco and Victorio, were among their noted chiefs.

WHITE MOUNTAIN APACHE. Formerly the Sierra Blanca Apache, a part of the Coyoteros, so called on account of their mountain home. The name is now applied to all the Apache under Fort Apache agency, Arizona, consisting of Aravaipa, Tsiltaden or Chilion, Chiricahua, Coyotero, Mimbreno and Mogollon.

TSILTADEN (“mountain side”). A clan or band of the Chiricahua Apache, associated with and hence taken to be a part of the Pinaleños; correlated with the Tziltaden clan of the Pinal Coyoteros, the Tziseketzillan of the White Mountain Apache, and the Tsayiskithni of the Navaho. They are now under the San Carlos Agency, Arizona.

Up: Contents Previous: Contents. Volume VII. (As in the original volume) Next: CHAPTER II. THE APACHE (Continued).




© Arizona Board of Regents