Chiricahua Apache Enduring Power: Naiche's Puberty Ceremony by Trudy Griffin-Pierce

By Trudy Griffin-Pierce

This booklet finds the conflicting meanings of energy held through the government and the Chiricahua Apaches all through their background of interplay. whilst Geronimo and Naiche, son of Cochise, surrendered in 1886, their wartime exploits got here to an finish, yet their genuine conflict for survival was once in basic terms starting. all through their captivity in Florida, Alabama, and Oklahoma, Naiche stored alive Chiricahua religious energy through embodying it in his appealing cover work of the Girl’s Puberty Ceremony—a ritual on the very center of tribal cultural lifestyles and religious strength.

This narrative is a tribute to the Chiricahua humans, who live on this present day, regardless of army efforts to annihilate them, executive efforts to subjugate them, and social efforts to ruin their language and tradition. even if federal coverage makers dropped at endure the entire strength at their command, they did not eliminate Chiricahua spirit and identification nor to persuade them that their decrease prestige used to be simply a part of the normal social order. Naiche, in addition to many different Chiricahuas, believed in one other form of strength. even if no longer identified to have energy of his personal within the Apache experience, Naiche’s work express that he believed in an important resource of religious energy. In a really actual feel, his work have been visible prayers for the continuation of the Chiricahua humans. available to contributors for lots of reasons, energy helped the Chiricahuas live to tell the tale all through their history.

In this e-book, Griffin-Pierce explores Naiche’s art throughout the lens of present anthropological thought on strength, hegemony, resistance, and subordination. As she retraces the Chiricahua odyssey in the course of 27 years of incarceration and exile through traveling their internment websites, she finds how the ability was once with them all through their darkish interval. because it used to be while the Chiricahua warriors and their households struggled to stick alive, energy is still the centering concentration for modern Chiricahua Apaches. even if by no means allowed to come to their cherished fatherland, not just are the Chiricahua Apaches surviving at the present time, they're conserving their traditions alive and their tradition powerful and important.

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Extra resources for Chiricahua Apache Enduring Power: Naiche's Puberty Ceremony Paintings

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Women also collected such foods as mesquite beans, agarita berries, sumac Ethnographic and Historic Background 29 berries, juniper berries, locust blossoms, the fruit of the screw bean, the rootstocks of the tule, onions, potatoes, varieties of greens, sun®ower seeds, grass seeds, acorns, pine nuts, pinyon nuts, walnuts, prickly pear, other cactus fruits, raspberries, strawberries, chokecherries, mulberries, grapes, and the stalk, blossoms, and fruit of the yucca (Opler 1983:413). The most important plant was the agave, or century plant, whose tender shoot they roasted and whose crown they baked and then dried in the sun for storage.

This ceremony was so important that it was held even in the middle of war when people were on the run from enemies, as Jason Betzinez (1959:87), who was with Geronimo, explained, “One of the girls with us reached womanhood, so right away her parents arranged the traditional ceremony in her honor, even while the shooting was heard on the other side of the hill. ” The following description of the ceremony and its symbolism is from Morris Opler (1994:15; 1996:82–132), unless otherwise noted. Since this event entailed great expense and elaborate planning during more normal times, preparations usually began a year or more before the feast, which was held after the girl’s ¤rst menses.

The camping ground is empty, and I am glad to have Cochise’s favorite spot to myself. A little sun ¤lters down through the thick canopy, but high above, the sun is hot and bright on the high pinnacles. Two ravens soar above me, chortling to each other as they sweep by on the wind currents. Figure 2: The Cochise Stronghold, southeastern Arizona. This place provided a secure home for Cochise and his people. Lookouts could easily spot strangers approaching at a great distance. Photo by author. Figure 3: The Cochise Stronghold, southeastern Arizona.

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