Western Apache Raiding and Warfare

Grenville Goodwin (Author), Keith H. Basso (Editor)
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This is a remarkable series of personal narrations from Western Apaches before and just after the various agencies and sub-agencies were established. It also includes extensive commentary on weapons and traditions, with Apache words and phrases translated and complete annotation.
"Goodwin's fascinating Western Apache narratives not only enable the reader to travel with the Apaches on their raids, but also give excellent insight into the method and purpose of their raiding and warfare. It is an Apache story with Apache participants, as told by the Apache. . . Most readable and is highly recommended." —Arizona and the West"Readers also get a clear understanding of subsistence, equipment manufacture and use, leadership roles, intertribal relationships, dangers of scouting, Apache values, native observations of culture change. . . . The materials are rich and offer unlimited potential for analysis." —American Anthropologist"The personal narratives of six Western Apaches . . . whose active lives spanned more than a century and witnessed a society in the process of revolutionary change! These straightforward accounts comprise Part I and some two-thirds of the book. Part II, dealing with weapons, taboos, leadership and other aspects of Apache warfare, is both interesting and informative. . . . A must for all those who would understand the Western Apache." —Journal of Arizona History"An extremely valuable collection of Apache memoirs. . . The personal recollections supply precious information and interpretation which will go far toward balancing our traditional version of Indian history. . . . The book is highly readable and should interest both scholar and buff." —Journal of the West
Western Apache Raiding and Warfare
Book Read Excerpt
Anna PriceAnna Price was one of Grenville Goodwin's most trusted informants. Her real name was 'Her Eyes Grey' and in 1931, when the following narrative was collected, she was close to one hundred years old and blind. Anna Price was the eldest daughter of Diablo, probably the most influential chief ever to appear among the White Mountain Apache, and most of her recollections deal with the exploits of her father.

In the old days when a person got ready to be told a story, from the time the storyteller started no one there ever stopped to eat or sleep. They kept telling the story straight through till it was finished. Then when the story was through, the medicine man would tell all about the different medicines. There would be a basket of corn seeds there, and for each line that was spoken, that person who was listening would count out one corn seed. This way there would be sometimes two hundred corn seeds. Then that person would have to eat them all. If he could eat them, then he would remember all the words he had been told. If you fell asleep during this time, then the story was broken and was no good. That's the way we used to do.

This is a story that I heard when I was a young girl. I don't know when it took place, but it happened before I can remember. One time some of our girls got captured someplace by some Mexican soldiers. The Mexicans took these girls off down to Mexico. There where they were holding them prisoners this happened. There was one of the girls who always stayed apart by herself from the rest and when they gave her food to eat, she went aside and cooked it by herself. One day while they were cooking, this girl cut a strip of meat off the leg of a beef. Then she went to one side and built a fire and laid her meat on it to cook. The Mexican officer was standing close by watching her. She said to him, "This meat I have cut here will turn over by itself on the fire." The Mexican officer laughed and said, "If that meat turns itself over, then I will send you back to your people."

They sat there watching the meat, and when it got cooked on one side, it turned over by itself. "All right, I have promised you already, so you can go back to your home. You were living over there to where that big mountain is. In the daytime don't cross over any open country, but stay in the mountains. Don't try to walk fast—go easy for two days. This way you must cross the open country at night," the Mexican officer told her. Then he gave her some meat and bread and started her off.

While she was on her way she lived on mescal, roasted, and what acorns she could gather. These she tied up in her blanket and carried along with her. She must have been very far off because it took her three months to reach her home again, near Fort Apache—where it is now. The person who told me this story said she heard lots of Indians crying over something one day, so she went to find out what it was. When she got there, she found they were crying over that girl who had made her way back from Mexico.

Fourth printing 1993
Copyright © 1971. Arizona Board of Regents.

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330 Pages 6 x 9 x 1 Published: 1971 Paperback (9780816502974)
Ebook (9780816533466)

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