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Cochise, The Chiricahua Apache Chief

Once upon a time, far away in New Mexico, an Indian tribe lived on a large stretch of land near a place called Tulerosa. They had not always lived there, but now the white men said they must stay there and nowhere else, for there was much land, many trees, and plenty of water. But the ground was really too poor for the Indians to plant, and they said the water made the children sick. The chief of this tribe, the Mescalero Apaches, was Victoria, a good man who was troubled for his people. He knew they were discontented and wanted to go on the war path and that it was better for them to keep peace. Now not far away from Tulerosa Uncle Sam had an army post where some soldiers lived who believed that the Indians had good reason to be unhappy. They thought about it awhile and then wrote down all they had heard the Indians say and sent it in a letter to President Grant at Washington. President Grant wanted everybody in the whole country to be happy, so he decided to send some one out to Tulerosa to see just what the matter was and what could be done. I was very busy just then in Washington, but the President sent for me and told me not to wait a minute, but go right out to New Mexico and find out about things; so, of course, I went. After I arrived the very first Indian I saw was the chief, Victoria. He had been trying his best to keep peace but there were Indians...

Chiricahua Apache Tribe

Chiricahua Indians,¬†Chiricahua Apache Indians (Apache: `great mountain’). An important division of the Apache Indians, so called from their former mountain home in southeast Arizona. Their own name is Aiaha. The Chiricahua were the most warlike of the Arizona Indians, their raids extending into New Mexico, south Arizona, and north Sonora, among their most noted leaders being Cochise, Victorio, Loco, Chato, Nahche, Bonito and Geronimo. Physically they do not differ materially from the other Apache. The men are well built, muscular, with well-developed chests, sound and regular teeth, and abundant hair. The women are even more vigorous and strongly built, with broad shoulders and hips and a tendency to corpulency in old age. They habitually wear a pleasant open expression of countenance, exhibiting uniform good nature, save when in anger their face takes on a savage cast. Chiricahua Apache Culture White thought their manner of life, general physique, and mental disposition seemed conducive to long life. Their characteristic long-legged moccasins of deerskin have a stout sole turning up at the toes, and the legs of the moccasins, long enough to reach the thigh, are folded back below the knee, forming a pocket in which are carried paints and a knife. The women wore short skirts of buckskin, and the men used to display surplus skins folded about the waist. Their arrows were made of reed tipped with obsidian or iron, the shaft winged with three strips of feathers. They used in battle a long spear and a slung-shot made by inserting a stone into the green hide of a cow’s tail, leaving a portion of the hair attached. They possessed...

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