The Apache lived in two types of traditional homes; wikiups and teepees. The wikiup, also called a wigwam, was a more permanent home. Its frame was made from tree saplings and formed a dome. It was covered with bark or grass.
Traditional Apache religion was based on the belief in the supernatural and the power of nature. Nature explained everything in life for the Apache people. White Painted Woman gave our people their virtues of pleasant life and longevity.
The Apache tribe was a nomadic group, and their lives revolved around the buffalo. They wore buffalo skins, slept in buffalo-hide tents, and ate buffalo for their sustenance. They were one of the first Indian tribes to learn to ride horses, and they quickly began using horses in order to hunt the buffalo.
The Apache people communicated by speaking and through sign language. The Apache spoke various languages from the Southern Athabaskan language group.
The Apache ate a wide variety of food, but their main staple was corn, also called maize, and meat from the buffalo. They also gathered food such as berries and acorns. Another traditional food was roasted agave, which was roasted for many days in a pit. Some Apaches hunted other animals like deer and rabbits.
A: In Eastern Apache, the word for hello is Da’anzho (pronounced dah-ahn-zho). In Western Apache, it is Dagotee (pronounced dah-goh-tay.) Some Western Apache people also use the word Ya’ateh, (pronounced yah-ah-tay), which comes from Navajo, or Aho (pronounced ah-hoh), which is a friendly intertribal greeting.
For centuries they were fierce warriors, adept in wilderness survival, who carried out raids on those who encroached on their territory. Religion was a fundamental part of Apache life.
They’re known as Apaches, and they don’t just live in the United States. They have homes and communities in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Sonora, northern Durango, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas. That, although in Mexico, Apaches do not officially exist.
Traditionally, Apache religious ceremonies focused on curing, hunting and gathering rituals, puberty ceremonies, and obtaining personal power and protection.
Apache boys and girls played games that kept them fit. Archery was an important competition sport, as the bow and arrow was their main weapon. Apache kids also played toe and toss games to develop coordination, balance, and strength.
Today most of the Apache live on five reservations: three in Arizona (the Fort Apache, the San Carlos Apache, and the Tonto Apache Reservations); and two in New Mexico (the Mescalero and the Jicarilla Apache). The White Mountain Apache live on the Fort Apache Reservation.
One of the favored war strategies of the Apache was the ambush. In one instance, an Apache war party neared a Mexican town and four of the warriors approached the town. They were seen by the Mexicans who then sent an army after them.
The chief deity of the Chiricahua Apache was Ussen, whose will governed all. Ussen existed before the creation of the universe. He created the first Mother with no parents who sang four times, a sacred number to the Chiricahua Apache.
The U.S. Senate has approved a water settlement with the White Mountain Apache Tribe in Arizona. A little over half the water –27,000 acre‐feet –will come from the Salt and Little Colorado River watersheds (an acre‐foot is 325,851 gallons, enough to serve two average households for one year).