The Apache migrated down from the Canadian area and settled in the plains and
southwestern part of the United States around 850 A.D. They were the dominant settlers
of most of northern Mexico, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas for many decades. The
Apache were divided into 6 sub-tribes, Bedonkone, Chieanen, Chihenne, Chokonen,
Nedni, and the White Mountain Apache. The different tribes varied on ways of life. Some
lived in the mountains and hunted while others farmed on the plains. Their main type of
home, however, was the same throughout all the Apache tribes. They lived in a dome-
shaped brush hut covered with brush, grass, and reed mats. There was often a fire circle
in the middle with a smoke hole chimney. During the peace time, they built elaborate huts
with more detail, but during the wars, their shelters were poorly constructed and ready to
be destroyed in a matter of minutes to avoid conflict with other tribes.
The Apache were
swift warriors and their battle ways become legendary. They often raided Spanish and
pioneer settlements. Those people saw the Apache as barbaric, which is how they got the
name 'Apache,' it was the Zuni word for 'enemy.' However, the Apache were not fierce,
and they only took what the tribe needed, but they traded most of the time. They were
often in conflict with the Pima, Papago, and Pueblo tribes.
One of the bands of the Apache were the Jicarilla, probably the most popular.
They were known for their craftsmanship of traditional clay pots, baskets, and beadwork.
The Jicarilla were one of the Apache tribes that hunted more than they farmed. Like most
Apache and Southwestern Indians, they also stayed in small groups related through the
female blood line and they traveled with the changing seasons. The nearby...