Native American Culture 1110
February 17, 2014
The term Apache may be derived from the Yuma word meaning “fighting man,” as well as the Zuni word apachu, meaning “enemy.” Although, most modern day Apache people still call themselves Apache, the tribes traditional name for themselves is Nde or Ndee meaning “the people.” The Apache Native Americans have prospered and occupied many regions including Kansas, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arizona.
Traditional Apache natives and elders alike, believe in a different version then you or I would as far as creation is concerned. Apache peoples believe that it all began with the Creator or giver of life, in which he made the earth, animals and beasts, but there were no people. Changing Woman, the first representation of woman, or mother of the Apache people decided the earth needed to be populated because she was lonely. During this time, there were supernatural people who lived inside the earth, who were Apache ancestors. They were called Mountain People. Each had different powers. Some warriors, hunters, and also some medicine men. These are the ones impersonated in the Gaan Dance. The dancers who perform may look like normal Apaches, but have supernatural powers to help the tribe. During this time that the earth was barren, Changing Woman was praying directly into the sun. She was impregnated by the Creator and struck with lightening four times. After that, the Child of the Water was born. Apache people believe this was the first of their people. They believe they came from the earth itself. There was another person on earth and he was the Slayer of Enemies. He represented the warrior spirit of the Apache people. Together the Child of the Water and the Slayer of Enemies battled with the beasts of the earth and one by one defeated them. After the beasts were defeated the Child of the Water, the Slayer of Enemies let the game animals and sea animals loose to help the survival of...
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