Monday, August 3, 2020

The Apache by Kristy McCaffrey

The Apache people lived in the southwestern U.S. and were divided into the Chiricahua, Mescalero, Lipan, Western Apache, Jicarilla, and Plains Apache. These groups had little political unity, and developed distinct cultures and language.

They refer to themselves as “The People”, and the Apache culture has remained one of the least understood of all the American Indians due in part to the violence that long plagued Apache-American relations.

There are several origins of the name Apache. The Mexicans, who were often preyed upon by a band of Tci-he-nde Chiricahua, used the word ápache, or “raccoon,” which is an accurate description of the traditional eye-masking war paint worn by the warriors.

Apache didn’t usually marry outside their own tribe, but the men readily took captive women to wife, and captive children of both sexes were often adopted into the community and married. This practice, however, had little effect in diluting the ethnic purity of the Apache.

In the early 1800’s, before the influx of Anglo-Americans to the Southwest, Apache depredations against the Mexicans was high. In desperation, the Mexican government issued a bounty on Apache scalps—100 pesos per warrior, 50 pesos per woman, and 25 pesos per child. The situation in this early frontier (present day northern Mexico) was dire. One distressing aspect was the difficulty in proving a scalp was actually Apache, so no doubt many passive Indians were targeted. Anglo-Americans—called pindah-lickoyee or White-eyed Enemies by the Apache—didn’t occupy this area until after 1850. With the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, the Americans inherited the responsibility to prevent and punish cross-border incursions by Apaches intent on raiding into Mexico.

There are several famous Apache leaders—Cochise, Victorio, Juh, Nana, and Eskiminzin—but the most notorious was Geronimo. Born about 1823, he was a member of a smaller band of Chiricahua and often participated in raids into old Mexico. While a young man, he married and had three children but in 1850 they were all killed by Mexicans, including his mother. This cemented a lifelong hatred for Hispanics, and it was likely from them that he acquired the name Geronimo. He was never a chief but participated in many revenge attacks against the Mexicans, inciting and coercing other Apache to do his bidding. This left his own people with mixed feelings for him. Although he was held at different times at reservations, he always escaped. In 1886 he finally surrendered and was sent to Florida, but in 1894 was moved to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In his old age he became a celebrity. He had nine wives in total, and died in 1909 after a fall from a horse.

Don't miss THE BLACKBIRD, Book 4 in my Wings of the West series. While there are some overlapping characters, this book can be read as a standalone.

2015 Laramie Winner for Best in Western Romance

Arizona Territory 1877

Bounty hunter Cale Walker arrives in Tucson to search for J. Howard “Hank” Carlisle at the request of his daughter, Tess. Hank mentored Cale before a falling out divided them, and a mountain lion attack left Cale nearly dead. Rescued by a band of Nednai Apache, his wounds were considered a powerful omen and he was taught the ways of a di-yin, or a medicine man. To locate Hank, Cale must enter the Dragoon Mountains, straddling two worlds that no longer fit. But he has an even bigger problem—finding a way into the heart of a young woman determined to live life as a bystander.

For two years, Tess Carlisle has tried to heal the mental and physical wounds of a deadly assault by one of her papá’s men. Continuing the traditions of her Mexican heritage, she has honed her skills as a cuentista, a storyteller and a Keeper of the Old Ways. But with no contact from her father since the attack, she fears the worst. Tess knows that to reenter Hank Carlisle’s world is a dangerous endeavor, and her only hope is Cale Walker, a man unlike any she has ever known. Determined to make a journey that could lead straight into the path of her attacker, she hardens her resolve along with her heart. But Cale makes her yearn for something she vowed she never would—love.

Read Chapter One at my website.

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Patti Sherry-Crews said...

So interesting! There is a nonfiction book I read which followed the stories of six children who were kidnapped from white settlers and raised in captivity, though eventually returned to white society. It was a fascinating but hard read. Lots of brutality all around. I was glad not to be part of that chapter of American history! I can't imagine...
Your story looks intriguing!

Kristy McCaffrey said...

The abduction angle is really distressing, but there were accounts of the captives integrating. Not by choice, of course, but if they were young they sometimes fared better. And while we think of abduction as a terrible thing, it wasn't viewed that way among the Native Americans. Still, it had to be terribly traumatic.

Elizabeth Clements said...

This is why this kind of research, and books with this kind of information is so important. For far too long the Native Americans, especially the Apache, have been vilified in movies and books. I guess that's why I love Dances With Wolves so much because it showed a realistic side of their nomadic life, although it was more Lakota tribes than Apache. This is very interesting reading, Kristy and I look forward to reading your book.

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I thought it was interesting that the Apache wouldn't marry outside the tribe, but had no problem marrying captives. Nice though that the children were incorporated into the tribe.
I have always loved your stories, Kristy.

Kristy McCaffrey said...

There are always two sides to every story, I believe, and I strive to strike that balance in my books. Thanks for the kind words and for stopping by. :-) And I hope you like the book!

Kristy McCaffrey said...

Aww thanks so much. Very appreciated since you're such a great writer!! The view on captives isn't always straightforward. It gets more complicated because often the captives became integrated into the tribe and didn't want to leave. Thanks for stopping by!