Life Among the Apaches: The Classic History of Native American Life on the Plains

5 Nov

Life Among the Apaches: The Classic History of Native American Life on the Plains

Life Among the Apaches: The Classic History of Native American Life on the Plains

Language: English

Pages: 320

ISBN: 1629143707

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

One of the original seventeenth-century historical accounts of the Apaches and the southwestern American Indians.

John C. Cremony’s first encounter with the Indians of the Southwest occurred in the early 1850s, when he accompanied John R. Bartlett’s boundary commission surveying the United States–Mexican border. Some ten years later, as an officer of the California Volunteers, he renewed his acquaintance, particularly with the Apaches, whom he came to know as few white Americans before him had. Cremony was the first white man to become fluent in the Apache language, and he published the first dictionary of their language as a tool for the US Army.

Cremony’s account of his experiences, published in 1868, quickly became, and remains today, an indispensable source on Apache beliefs, tribal life, and fighting tactics. Although its original purpose was to induce more effective military suppression of the Apaches, it has all the fast-paced action and excitement of a novel and the authenticity of an ethnographic and historical document. Life Among the Apaches is unrivaled in its attention to detail, and Cremony’s firsthand accounts of the intricacies of daily life for the Apaches make it both an essential text on Native American culture and a truly important anthropological work.

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seek,” until they became perfect adepts. We have far-reaching rifles and destructive weapons, but they must ever be ineffective against unseen enemies; and it is part of a soldier’s duty, while engaged in Indian countries, to study all their various devices. Another excellent illustration of their skill in concealment was given me by Nah-kah-yen. We were hunting together, when a large herd of antelopes made its appearance. Nah-kah-yen immediately tore off a small strip from an old red

some determined purpose. The hunting grounds around the Copper Mines offered no special inducement, as they must have crossed a hundred and fifty miles of better hunting country to arrive where they then were. There was no trading to rely upon, and on special incentive other than to help Mangas in driving us out of the place, or assisting him to steal our animals. Their visits were very regular for three or four days, when, probably finding us too strong and too much on our guard to attack, they

After a time he made his appearance in grande tenue, evidently in love with his own elegant person. During the whole day he strutted about the camp, the envied of all beholders, and as vain of his new dress as a peacock of his feathers. The next day Mangas failed to put in an appearance; but the day after he came, with his pantaloons wrapped around his waist; his shirt, dirty and partly torn, outside; his uniform coat buttoned to his chin; one epaulet on his breast, and the other fastened,

the blood curdle at the bare recital. These developments will form portions of succeeding chapters. Toward the latter end of July, a number of mules for which Col. Craig was responsible, could not be found, although all the surrounding country, to the extent of thirty miles, was strictly searched. That gallant officer and accomplished gentleman invited me to his quarters, and asked my opinion on the subject. Without hesitation, I informed him that I thought the Apaches had stolen them, either

Yumas yearly visit that place to obtain them, as the metate is an indispensable culinary utensil. Three days after we had occupied the pass we were visited by the Yumas, who immediately set to work selecting stones and hewing them into the required shape in their rude manner. But it was soon discovered that several blankets, and a revolver, for which I was responsible, had disappeared, and I determined to get rid of my Yumas friends soon—by stratagem if possible, by force if need be. The deadly

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