The Apache nation is one of the many in which the Native Americans were divided, one of the most known one due to their courage with which its members faced the white men, trying, in vain, to oppose to the occupation of their native lands. As nomad hunters, the Apaches had a long history as horse riders through which they were crossing the central part of North America. At the beginning of the 18th century they had settled down in most of the huge lowlands in today New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Colorado.

Below: the map with the different Apache tribes at the beginning of the  18th century

Even though nomads, the Apache had started to grow corn and melons amongst other things, even though their favourite dish was the buffalo meat that, before the arrival of the colonists, it was an abundant resource and apparently unlimited. The animal did not provide only the meat to the natives, but also leather for their clothes and a series of other objects such as the popular Teepee, the mobile tents that they were building up in their temporary camps.

Engaged in continuous wars, the number one enemies of the Apaches were the Spanish conquistadores, who stayed in charge of the West coast of North America all the way to the central lowlands of Kansas and Oklahoma. If initially the were victims of the Apache attacks, able to loot them for their superiority in the battlefield, the native tribe had no chance with the colonists of the East coast, mainly Brits, that during the mid-end 1800 managed to invade the whole North America during the well known “American Indian wars”.

Exterminated especially by epidemics of diseases unknown to them such as variola, flu and chicken pox, and then by the guns and howitzers of their enemies, the Apaches were confined in tiny reserves that they still own to this day with pride, while keeping costumes and traditions of their ancestors. In the 21st century it is calculated that the Apache population has still 100,000 people, a small group of proud warriors that were living in harmony along with the great herds of buffaloes.

Below: Go-Shona,  Apache,in his ritual clothes

Apache man with a Evans rifle, picture from the 1880


Below:  during the harvest

Below: woman and child in their typical mobile-cradle

Below:  children secured around the cradle in order not to move

Below: a Jicarilla Apache depicted by Edward Curtis in 1904

Below:  3 Apache men in front of straw huts used as their home

Below:  2 Apache women in front of a hut in 1880

Below:  a small Chiricahua-Apache camp

Below:  picture of an Apache in 1903

Below:  picture from a study of Chatto, Chirihuaha Apache

Below: a grandma carries on her shoulders her nephew in the reserve of Palomas, 1900 circa

Below: picture of a Sigesh by Edward S. Curtis in 1905

Below: picture of a woman named Nalin, by Edward S. Curtis, 1907

Below:  woman from the San Carlos group, 1902

Below:  camp depicted from afar

Below:  old female Apache

Below: female child with a ceremonial dress

Below: picture taken on a studio of an Apache couple with their typical shoes

Below:  woman in her traditional dress with a typical woven basket

Below: child leaning towards a tree in the typical mobile cradle

Below:  Apache man in 1898, picture by Frank Rinehart

Below:  Apache girl

Below:  picture by Edward Curtis showing Geronimo, the untamable Apache leader who eventually surrendered to the US in 1905 at the age of 77

All pictures are in the public domain

Matteo Rubboli

I am a publisher specialised in the digital distribution of culture and founder of the portal Vanilla Magazine. I don't wear a tie or branded clothes, I keep my hair short so I don't have to comb it. That's not my fault but just the way I've been drawn as...

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