Lipan Apache Tribe

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Lipan Apache Indians (adapted from Ipa-n’de, apparently a personal name; n’de=’people’). An Apache tribe, designating themselves Náizhan (‘ours,’ ‘our kind’), which at various periods of the 18th and 19th centuries roamed from the lower Rio Grande in New Mexico and Mexico eastward through Texas to the Gulf coast, gaining a livelihood by depredations against other tribes and especially against the white settlements of Texas and Mexico. The name has probably been employed to include other Apache groups of the southern plains, such as the Mescaleros and the Kiowa Apache. The Franciscan mission of San Saba was established among the Lipan in Texas in 1757, but it was soon destroyed by their enemies, the Comanche and Wichita. In 1761-62 the missions of San Lorenzo and Candelaria were also founded, but these met a like fate in 1767.

In 1805 the Lipan were reported to be divided into 3 bands, numbering 300, 350, and 100 men, respective: this apparently gave rise to their subdivision by Orozco N, Berra in 1864 into the Lipajenne, Lipanes de Arriba, and Lipanes de Abajo.

In 1849, under chief Castro, they sided with the Texans againt the Comanche1 ; they were always friendly, with their congeners, the Mescaleros, and with the Tonkawa after 1855, but were enemies of the Jicarillas and the Ute. Between 1845 and 1850 they suffered severely in the Texan wars, the design of which was the extermination of the Indians within the Texas border. Most of them were driven into Coahuila, Mexico, where they resided in the Santa Rosa mountains with Kickapoo and other refugee Indians from the United States, until the 19 survivors were taken to northwestern Chihuahua, in Oct., 1903, whence they were brought into the United States about the beginning of 1905 and placed on the Mescalero reservation, New Mexico, where they now (1905) number about 25 and are making more rapid progress toward civilization than their Indian neighbors. In addition there are one or two Lipan numbered with the 54 Tonkawa under the Ponca, Pawnee, and Oto agency, Oakland Reservation, Oklahoma, and a few with the Kiowa Apache in the same territory, making the total population about 35.

The Lipan resemble the other Apache in all important characteristics. They were often known under the designation Cancy, Chanze, etc., the French form of the Caddo collective name (Kä’ntsi) for the eastern Apache tribes.


  1. Schoolcraft, Thirty Years,642, 1851 

MLA Source Citation:

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906. Web. 31 January 2015. - Last updated on Aug 10th, 2014

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