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Peaceful Apaches


Last Edited: January 2, 2006, 5:18 pm

Hi blogsters:

I've been back reading more of Coronado's Quest when my head gets to trying to swim upstream looking at all those numbers.

It's a worthy piece of work.  Grove Day's research is solid and he bases everything on direct quotes from Spanish records: memoirs of members of the expedition, Board of Inquiry reports and statements from the Church arm of the foray.  He backs this up occasionally with traditions on the Indian side, but he's good about pointing it out to the reader when he does this.

One of the more interesting things I'd forgotten from past readings of the book was the first encounter between Apaches and Spaniards.  The army was crossing the staked plains.  The time was prior to the entry of Comanches to the area (or Navajos, Day observes, to the NW NM region). 

The Apaches are described as friendly, helpful, extremely competent.  Quite a contrast to the Spanish/Mexican/Apache war that began within a century and lasted until the Apache was so penned up he couldn't carry it on. 

However, as I mentioned it was before the Comanche acquired horses and descended to the plains wiping out just about everything in their paths.  By 1843, they'd completely extinguished the Lipan Apache, which was the band Coronado probably encountered.

Interestingly, at the time of the encounter the high plains were shared between Wacos, Wichita, Teja and Apache.  All of those were either driven off the high plains, exterminated, or allied with the Comanche by the early 1800s.  The Jicarilla Apache was also backed up into N. New Mexico looking for help from the Spaniard/Mexicans to protect them from the Comanche. 

Fara'on Apaches were out there too, at the time, but by the time there was much record keeping going on they were generally so few in numbers they only showed up as a criminal nuisance in Spanish records.  They vanished before 1800.

Amazing what a  simple unintended introduction of the horse to America did to stir things up.




Entry #523


Comment by Rip Snorter - January 2, 2006, 5:36 pm
The Fara'on band, incidently, would be the ones who wiped out the village where I live on two of the three occasions when it was depopulated by Apache raids.
TigerAngelComment by TigerAngel - January 3, 2006, 8:21 pm
Humm, Apache you say? Had a beautiful little red appaloosa mustang I named Apache. Wish I could post his pix. Cherokee is what I got from my grandfather, he was a quarter. Some day I'm gonna check out that side of the family tree and see who that Indian was that gave me these big cheek bones. When I was a kid I wanted to be an Indian when I grew up. They seemed so much more noble than the cowboys in the movies. TA
Comment by Rip Snorter - January 4, 2006, 2:27 am
Thanks for the comment TA.
I never had me no appaloosa. I guess if I couldn't have a mule I might prefer an appaloosa over any other horseflesh. Saw a nice few appaloosa mules in my life I wouldn't have minded having about.

Noble? Not usually, not red man, not white man, not black man. Mostly we skirt nobility and do a bit of pantomime. I have a lot of respect for the Apache for the ability he had to be a desert man, the same way I have a lot of respect for the Comanche for being some kind of amazing light cavalryman.... got a lot of respect for the ability of white men to build germs and pollution and atomic bombs and television sets and give all those others something to emulate. Got a lot of respect for black men being able to be hellacious good football players and rapsters and singers of great gospel music. Got a lot of respect for various brands of orientals for all manner of reasons, not the least of which they tend to be smarter than the rest of us, which doesn't do them much good. But for all that I can't go so far as to accuse any of us of being noble.

Nor horseflesh, either, except maybe mules. They're as near noble as any humankind or horseflesh is likely to get, though they work to be otherwise and are downright honest about it.

All in all noble just ain't a hat that fits much of anything on this planet.


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