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 the 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.
The story of the...
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