The Apaches were one of the most fearsome Native American tribes throughout all of our American history. However, it is important to note that the Apache tribe is comprised of subtribes. These subtribes are: the Western Apache Tribe, the Jicarilla, the Lipan, the Kiowa, the Mescalero, and the Chiricahua. The Western Apache Tribe resided mainly in Western Arizona. The Western Apache Tribe was also located in New Mexico as well as Mexico.
The Jicarilla Tribe was located in Southeastern Colorado, Northwest Texas, and Northern New Mexico. Research has shown that the Jicarilla Tribe had two divisions. These divisions were known as the Llanero and the Hoyero. The Llanero were the plains people and the Hoyero were the mountain people. The Jicarilla have reached as far east as Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. By the late 1800’s, the Jicarilla were being relocated to reservations. During the year 1874, the Jicarilla moved to a reservation in New Mexico at Tierra Amarilla. There were some additional struggles to set up the reservation, but during the year 1908, additional land was added to the reservation. Some members of the Lipan Tribe made their residence to the east of the Jicarilla; however, a number of them remained along the Texas-Mexico border. Other Lipans were part of the southeastern group that settled quietly in around Corpus Christi or south of San Antonio. It was not easy since many were massacred in the attempt to rid Texas of the Apache in the latter 1800's. However, the Lipan Apache of Texas still survive today and are thriving.
The Apache tribes relied mostly on hunting for their food. In fact, hunting was a very integral part of the Apache’s every day life. Some foods were considered unclean and were not hunted. These include snakes, fish, and the prairie dog. However, of the plentiful wildlife that surrounded them, the Apaches frequently hunted coyotes, buffalos, bears, mountain lions, foxes, beavers, and deer. Because they believed fish to be unclean, fishing was never a routine part of the Apache’s life.
Because the Apache was a wanderer, farming and agriculture were virtually non-existent in their culture. The Apaches would sometimes barter with other tribes for materials that they needed, however due to their fierce battle skills and warlike personalities, most Apaches resorted to raids to acquire new goods.
Joseph Paige © 2006