The Apache Indians of North America prospered for years throughout Kansas, New Mexico, and Arizona. They were a religious society who believed in a “giver of life”. As any complex society today, The Apache had many inter-tribal differences, although the tribe as a whole was able to see through these conflicts. Women and the extended family played an important role in society and also in the lives of young children. Groups of different extended families, called bands, often lived together and functioned democratically. The Apache also evolved as the coming of the white man changed their lives.
These Indians became adept at using horses and guns, both introduced to them by the coming settlers. As with most Indian tribes in North America the lives of the Apache were destroyed as their life-blood, the buffalo were slaughtered by the whites. The Apache were forced into surrender after years of struggle. One leader, Geronimo, was especially hard for the whites to capture.
After years of evading white soldiers, Geronimo was taken to Florida and treated as a prisoner of war. Government-sponsored assimilation saw English forced upon the Apache robbing them of their culture. In 1934 The Indian Recognition Act helped establish the Indian culture as a recognized way of life. This act gave the Apache land, which the Apache in turn used for ranching. The destruction of the Apache culture was not recoverable and saw the Apache lose much of their language.
The documentary on the Apache was very well done. The Indians of North America series, produced by Chelsea House, seems to be a very well-thought-out series and the film on the Apache was no exception. The film moved quickly throughout the life and times of the Apache. This film, as no surprise, is a great educational tool. I felt that the life of Geronimo, the best-known Apache throughout history, could have been examined a little more carefully.
Keith Basso noted that the Cibecue village had changed in many ways since his first visit in 1959. From the new houses to the expensive TV s and VCR s, there is postmodernity in motion within the reservation. Even though the Apache had accepted and in some cases embraced modern conveniences and mainstream traits, the traditions which have been passed down from generation to generation still exist.
Basso talked about how fewer and fewer young people are embarking on the ancestral trail of wisdom. In a way, they appear to be leaving behind the traditions and stories of their ancestors when in some cases it is still being instilled. This can be seen in the story of a young man that is fishing by the river and is hurtled down upon by an eagle.
From my interpretation of the story, he was not unlike the rest of his generation that was disregarding the wisdom in the land but, then the land saw something in this boy and decided to give him a wake-up call by sending this eagle down upon him to make him realize that he needs to be respectful of the land and his surroundings. In a way, this was a hidden transcript of Mother Earth that was being publicly expressed.
Mother Earth seemed to be expressing her normally suppressed aggression and frustration for the Apaches’ hegemony. I believe that because Mother Earth expressed herself to this young man that he is training to become a ceremonial singer. Without these discourses from Mother Earth and Father Sun, the Apache culture may truly be lost forever.
The Protestant Ethic and the older Apache way seem to be almost a reflection of each other. The Protestant Ethic values were very ascetic and future-oriented. The same can be said for the Apache were the warriors would go out and hunt for enough food to last the tribe for a while. The women would gather nuts and berries as well as tend to the crops so that the tribe would have subsistence for when the bad weather and winter season came.
The capitalist system that was born out of the Protestant Ethic of work invaded the indigenous people of the Cibecue village and changed their culture forevermore. From the HUD houses, sawmill, handsome school, supermarket, fire station, and medical clinic the signs of profit are evident. If it weren’t for the owners of the medical clinic or the sawmill the Apache might still be treated solely by the medicine man and build their houses out of the natural surroundings. These profit-making ventures have stolen away part of the Cibecue culture and replaced it with mainstream America.
The stratifications that were focused on by the social theorists Karl Marx and Max Weber did not seem to exist in the Apache culture before the appearance of the white man. Once the white man started to gobble up the land in America stratification between them and the Native Americans appeared. The Apache could be seen as the proletariat (since they were used to keep the US Army in business) and mainstream America as the Bourgeoisie (since the settlers and pioneers were getting rich and claiming land deeds as the native Americans were being driven from there lands). Because of this rift between the two classes many wars and battles were fought.
Eventually, the bourgeoisie seemed to claim victory by pushing the Apache and other Native Americans onto reservations. While this class system lasted a while it is in the process (like most other cultures where a definitive separation between classes is obvious) it is starting to fall apart. Not only are the Native Americans in the middle of class consciousness, but they are also building upon that foundation and claiming back what was taken from them by the capitalists illegally.
There many court cases working through the justice system (such as the lake Coeur D Alene case) were the Native Americans are using examples of the ecocide and genocide of the indigenous people of America to claim back the land that once belonged to their ancestors. The sense of place that comes with these lands is overwhelming for the people that know the stories that go with the place names. In a story, Ruth mentions how a girl went to get firewood and was not careful. In the process of getting the firewood, the girl began to grow tired and weak.
On her way walking back to camp she stepped on a thin flat rock. She had forgotten that she was carrying the very heavy oak wood and the rock broke off leaving the girl unconscious for a period of time. Upon returning to her camp she related what had happened to her mother and the story was passed down through the generations.
Upon retelling this story Basso mentions that Ruth s eyes have filled with tears and she turns away to go back into the house since she cannot stem her emotions. It s with examples like this of the spread of a capitalistic society from England that started to weaken the Native American’s autonomy and also started through aggressive missionary work ethnocide of the tribes of America.
When the Christians were settling America in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries they started a systematic process of converting the indigenous people to Christian-Judeo beliefs. Through this missionary work, the settlers began religious domination in America in order to wipe out the evil religions of the Native Americans. Through many factors and means, many native tribes have been hegemonic zed. This was very apparent to me when I was watching the 2001 Grammy awards a few months ago and the winners of the Best Native American award came up on stage.
One of the three men that comprised the group thanked his personal savior Jesus Christ. It seems to me that he was converted to Christianity later in his life due to the way he talked with such a conviction that I have only witnessed in people that chose the religion on their own free will and were not raised in it. This I believe would be a perfect example of how hegemony is still alive and moving in not some remote part of the world, but right here in America.
All of these factors combine to form cultural imperialism. Kottak defines cultural imperialism as a rapid spread or advance of one culture at the expense of others, or its imposition on other cultures, which it modifies, replaces or destroys. This would be a good way to summarize all that we have learned about what mainstream America has done to the Apache.
Not only was popular American culture spread through settlers and fortune seekers, but it was also spread through missionaries and political agendas aimed at forcibly enculturating the Apache. This enculturation seems to have made the Apache adapt its culture to fit not only mainstream America but to modernize and keep alive its own traditions and values. Through this modernization and adaptation, the Apache culture has survived and endured the test of time.
Time will tell what other cultural constructions await the ethnographer bent on an interest in the place. But that such constructions are everywhere to be found in deserts and savannas, mountains and rain forests, cities and rural towns are altogether certain.
We should begin to explore them with all deliberate speed, and not, I would emphasize, solely for the purpose of enlarging our knowledge of particular social groups. For as surely as a place is an elemental existential fact, sense of place is a universal genre of experience, and therefore, as more and more work gets done, it may be found to exhibit transcultural qualities.
Every day someone enters into a rite of passage whether it be by starting school, a new job, marriage, a confirmation or communion rites of passage are commonplace. Two totally different cultures have totally different rituals and rites of passage. The Apache would most definitely have incredibly unique rituals compared to rural Maine and the catholic cultures therein. The best way to see the differences is to compare the two different cultures.
Each ritual occurs in a holy place, the Apache on ritual grounds, and the Confirmation rights at a specific congregation. The person who is about to participate in confirmation has gone to months of classes to prepare for this day, CCD it is titled and it is typically on a Sunday night at this particular congregation.
The Apache girl has been well prepared as well, running and doing specific training exercises so that she will be ready for the grueling Sunrise Dance. In both societies, the participant undergoes this ritual specifically because their parents and elders tell them to. They are too young to defy their parents or elders and submit basically because of the special knowledge that will somehow change them and prepare them for adulthood.
The Apache girl has a godmother and godfather, which has no relation to her per se (blood relation), they are chosen based on their status in their society and they become a sort of guiding light for this girl during her Dance and adulthood all the way to when she is old and gray. The confirmation child has to choose his “sponsor” who is typically a relative or someone very special to him. This person also has a big part in the confirmation, guiding the child and being a big support center for the child.
The reason for the Apache girl to start her Sunrise Dance is because of her first womanly cycle. She has a grueling task ahead of her when the Dance begins. She has a week of ritual ahead and many strenuous tasks. Her family, before participating must have about 10,000 dollars so that they can afford the gifts, food, etc. During the ritual, the girl has absolutely no baths and isn’t allowed to touch herself except with a stick. She isn’t allowed to drink except with a straw.
She is also allowed very little sleep during the week of her specific dance. During a specific part of the ritual, her grandmother massages her body, which signifies a strong life ahead for this thirteen-year-old girl. During the most strenuous parts of the ritual, the young girl is believed to change into a deity called “Changing Woman”.
The whole community reaffirms their identity through the dance. Saturday is specifically dedicated to the godmother while Sunday is the godfather’s day. The girl, while awake is never allowed to stop dancing, even on her knees at the end when she has to prove that she is fully ready for womanhood. She is painted on her face and must stand up only with the aid of eagle feathers. The gifts that are given are of varying value, but they definitely don’t all have to do with the religious purpose, TV’s VCR’s and other electronic devices are given here.
The confirmation is a much different ritual. It is not an individual. There is a whole group of kids going through the ritual at the same time. They all have sponsors standing next to, or behind them during the whole ritual. The main difference of immediate comparison to be made is that of the girl speaking and saying she will remember the ritual for the rest of her life. Here, about 8 years later, I don’t even remember specifics about the rite of confirmation. The family time had during a ritual such as this can not be had during normal everyday experiences.
The whole lot to be confirmed marches in, marriage style, and lines up in the first two rows of the church. The priest then says a few words and the confirmation mass continues as normal mass. With communion and all the normal prayers from the bible along with a few readings picked specifically for confirmation masses. The readings are usually read by a few of the children to be confirmed.
At the end of the mass special prayers are said for the confirmed by everyone in the congregation and the confirmed emerge as adults. The party thereafter includes many gifts of varying values that have to do with religion and crosses etc.
The sad thing about this ritual is that some kids participate in it because they know once they are confirmed they have the right to whether or not to go to church from that day forth. They are considered adults that have the right frame of mind to make the choice whether or not to continue the prayers and rituals their parents and elders have taught them to believe so highly in.
The two are extremely different. The Apache girl has something she will remember for the rest of her life, with vivid emotion and extreme pain to make her realize her passage. The confirmed have a choice to make, go to church, continue the faith, or don’t. An extreme difference. To compare with Turner the Apache girl emerges reborn as a woman while during the ritual she has an identity as a changing woman to show she is ready to make her full journey into womanhood.
Turner agrees, the individual has no status during the ritual, secluded, by herself, invisible. She is not so invisible during this ritual, more on display than anything. Confirmation makes everyone feel special in their own way. The group is a group, but not of nobody’s, of children ready to make the journey into adulthood. In most catholic cultures this is seen as their official ritual of adulthood.
Turner sees the end of the ritual as a rebirth. Both societies, the Apache and the Catholic culture definitely view this as a rebirth. The Apache seems more special because of the individuality that ensues with the Sunrise Dance. Confirmation is a rebirth into adulthood, but not alone, you are supported by all your classmates and friends. The reason that any young child submits to authority, other than fear, is because they know and realize that they can achieve great knowledge by listening to them and abiding by their practices. Because, look where it got them, at least to the age they are!
Ritual changes people for better or worse, either way, a change has been made and you aren’t the same after the ritual ends. The Apache girl has something she can tell her grandkids about, she has a vivid incredible memory that will never leave her.
The confirmed has a memory too, a family time that brings people together, and we all know we love family time regardless of what occurs within we are happy to see that aunt uncle and cousin we haven’t seen in so long. Rituals are times that should bring people together and change them for the better, as well as prepare them for the long roads ahead.
Apache people are one of the native/indigenous Americans who came from far north to settle on the plains and southwest around 850 A.D. They established homes in the three desert regions, the great basin, the Sonoran, and the CHIRICAHUAN. This group moves in some areas that were occupied at the same time or recently abandoned by other communities leaving a more austere set of tools and material goods behind.
A tribe called the Navajo shared Athabascan language with Apache which originated in their homeland of Northwestern Canada.
Linguistic similarity shows Apache and Navajo were once a single ethnic group. Apache tribe consisted of six sub-tribes which are: Western Apache, Western Apache, Kiowa, Jicarilla, Chiricahua, Lipan, and Mescalero.
Apache tribe was traditionally powerful and skillful warfare wise. Other tribes feared the Apachean; they raided for food and other economic benefits.
“Of the hundreds of peoples that lived and flourished in native North America, few have been so consistently misrepresented as the Apacheans of Arizona and New Mexico.
Glorified by novelists, sensationalized by historians, and distorted beyond credulity by commercial film makers, the popular image of ‘the Apache’ — a brutish, terrifying semi-human bent upon wanton death and destruction — is almost entirely a product of irresponsible caricature and exaggeration.
Indeed, there can be little doubt that the Apache has been transformed from a native American into an American legend, the fanciful and fallacious creation of a non-Indian citizenry whose inability to recognize the massive treachery of ethnic and cultural stereotypes has been matched only by its willingness to sustain and inflate them.” By Keith Basso
Western Apache historically occupied a large part of eastern Arizona which included White Mountain, and Carlos, southern and northern Tonto bands. Due to their nomadic nature of living, the apache people created less significant habits than other southern groups.
Almost all the Apachean people lived in extended family units. An extended family generally consisted of a husband and wife, their unmarried children, their married daughters and their families including husbands hence, the extended family combine women that live together in which men leave their parent’s families behind. All men avoided the wife’s close relatives and mothers-in-law. They were not allowed to be on the sight of his relatives that he was in a restricted relationship with.
Political control was present at the local group level. Local group levels were several extended families working together, they carried out certain ceremonies, economic and military activities. Local groups were headed by a chief who was a male who had considerable influence in the group due to his effectiveness and reputation.
The chief was almost the leader in Apachean cultures. The position was not hereditary and was filled by different members of different extended families.
Many Apachean people united several local groups into bands.
Women were the ones to make a house for their families. The house was a circular dome-shaped with the floor at ground level. It was about seven feet high at the center and about eight feet in diameter. It had a grass thatched roof with a smoke hole above the central fireplace. A hide suspended at the entrance acted as a door.
In the interior, it was lined with brush and grass beds making it warm and comfortable.
Apache people hunted for food, clothing, shelter, and blankets. They hunted deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, fox, buffaloes, bears, and mountain lions. Food was important to Apache people but they considered some animals unclean to consume them for food. These animals are; fish, dogs, and snakes. Eagles were also hunted not for food but for their feathers.
Every man in the Apache community hunted to feed his family, boys were taught how to move quickly and quietly in the forest to get the target for food. The first thing an Apache man did is to grease his body with animal fat to get rid of the human smell from his body thus attracting the prey.
Gathering of plants and other foodstuffs was the work of the females. However, a gathering of heavy and bulky agave crowns men helped.
Different Apachean groups grew domestic plants. Some like Navajo, Jicarilla, and Lipan did cultivation but to a lesser extent.
The tribe exchanged buffalo hides, tallow and meat, bones that were used as needles and scrappers for hides and salt from the desert with other communities for cotton pottery, turquoise, blankets, and other goods.
RELIGION AND CEREMONIES
They referred to ceremonies as dances. They included the sunrise dance for young women, a puberty right, spirit dance, rain dance, and the harvest and good crop dance. The Apache people were very devoted to religion and prayed on many occasions, their spirit was believed to dwell in the land of peace free from disease and death.
Several reservations of the Apache people have to lead to the commercial development of reservation resources. These include; the White Mountain Apache of Arizona that today manages the Fort Apache Timber Company and the Sunrise Park Ski Resorts.
There are about 560 federal recognized tribal governments in the united state with a total membership of about 1.7 million. There still several hundred groups seeking recognition, a process that some time to accomplish. Being recognized federally is to possess the right to establish your own government, enforce laws both criminal and civil, to tax, to license and regulate, and to the zone. All these were carried out by federally recognized tribes. But they had some limitations which include; no power to make war, engage in foreign relations, or make money (note currency or coins).
For a tribe to receive federal recognition and benefits it gets, it must prove its continuous existence since 1900. Each of the criteria demands exceptional historical, genealogical, and anthropological research and presentation of solid evidence to support the research. Tribes became recognized legally through treaties, a presidential proclamation, or through executive orders.
Federal recognition is important for tribes because it formally establishes a government to government relationship giving the tribe the sovereign status which has significant rights, including exemption from state and local jurisdiction. In addition, the federally recognized tribes are qualified to participate in federal assistance programs which helped them provide community services from the funds they get from the programs.
Native Americans have been living in America long before the white people settled in on the American soil. There was approximately ten million Native Americans living in North America when the Europeans arrived. It is understood that the natives arrived 20,000-30,000 years ago. All these Natives had their mode of living and some shared cultural values like the Apache and the Navajo.
Most federally recognized tribes benefited from government programs such as scholarships, development, and even cultural conservation initiatives.
The Apache Indians is one of the most popular assignments among students’ documents. If you are stuck with writing or missing ideas, scroll down and find inspiration in the best samples. Apache Indians is quite a rare and popular topic for writing an essay, but it certainly is in our database.
The researcher of this essay compares two Native American tribes, that were found on the continent when the first explorers arrived in the New World. Firstly, it was common practice to think of all Native Americans as one cultural group united by the simple idea that they all lived on the new common continent before the coming of the Europeans. However, just like the Europeans, though, Native American tribes found on the continent when the first explorers arrived were often very different from each other. The researcher states that tribes, such as the Apache and the Ottawa were very different from each other based not only on their geographic homeland but also on their lifestyles and connections with Europeans.
The researcher then aims to establish their cultural differences and present them to the reader in a comparative manner. For example, while both the Apache Indians and the Ottawas were established Native American tribes since well before the Europeans came, they had organized themselves differently based to a large degree upon their locations.
The Apache Indians lived in bands primarily on the North American plains of the Southwest, ranging “from southern Colorado to the Texas border and the Chiricahua also extended into Arizona. Western Apache lived in east-central Arizona, where they grew far more like the Navajo than the eastern Apache did. The researcher then compares these tribes on the topic of cultural differences and historic associations with each other as well as with Europeans.
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