Apache bands and clans are the most important relationships in Apache culture. The concept of "tribe" in Apachean cultures is very weakly developed, essentially being only a recognition of similar speech and culture. No leadership existed for all of the Apache tribes as a whole. In fact, not all Apaches recognize the existence of tribes within their cultures. The seven Apachean tribes had no political unity and often were enemies of each other. The Apache tribes are divided into many band divisions and further divided into clans or moieties which can cross multiple bands.
Local groups comprised loose confederations called bands. The bands were territorial units, not formal political groups. Nonetheless the bands had distinct names and leadership. The local groups consisted of several units of extended families occupying a given territory. The Chiricahua and Mescalero local groups had as many as 30 extended families. Among the Western Apaches the local groups were comprised of from two to six large, extended family units with three to eight nuclear families each and as many as 200 people. The Mescalero did not have bands.
There are two separate Apache clan systems: The Chiricahua and the Jicarilla. Apache clans are not totemic and they usually take their names from the natural features of localities, never from animals. Like clans of different Apache tribes recognize their affiliation. Clans can be closely related, related or distantly related. Closely related and related clan marriage is taboo.
The term Apaches, as used in our contemporary English language, generally includes 6 of the 7 major traditional Apachean speaking groups: Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Lipans, Mescalero, Plains Apache, and Western Apache. The seventh Apachean group, the Navajo, are now considered as a separate tribe.
Keeping the relationships of Apachean language divisions, apache tribes, bands, and clans (called moities in some groups) straight can be difficult. This is complicated further because anthropologists do not agree on how to classify these civilizations, and records from past centuries and various languages contain many spelling variations referring to the same peoples. Here is a little chart to help you sort it all out.
Chiricahua, one of the 7 major Apachean divisions from southeastern Arizona. Known as Chíshí or Tchishi in Navajo, meaning "Chricahua" and "Southern Apache in general," respectively. Chíshín in Jicarilla. Called Chishi´i´hi´i´in Lipan, meaning "Forest Lipan."
Mogollon Apaches were considered by Schroeder to be a separate pre-Rez Chiricahua band while Opler considered the Mogollon to be part of his Eastern Chiricahua band in New Mexico.MimbresMimbreños is an older name that refers to a section of Opler's Eastern Chiricahua band and to Albert Schroeder's Mimbres and Warm Springs Chiricahua bands (Oplers lists three Chircahua bands, while Schroeder lists five) in southwestern New Mexico. The Warm Springs group were called Chi-hen-ne in Apache, meaning "red paint people," , according to Geronimo. They were called Ojo Caliente in Spanish, or Hot Springs Apache in English.The Eastern Chiricahuas territory was roughly southwestern New Mexico west of the Rio Grande. The Central Chiricahua band inhabited southeast Arizona, extreme southwestern New Mexico and a small range in Mexico. This group was also known as the Cochise Apaches, after their famous leader, or Cho-kon-en in the Apache language.The Southern Chiricahua band ranged in Mexico and a small area in southwestern New Mexico. Geronimo was their best known leader. This band was called Be-don-ko-he in their language.Warm Springs Apache were located on the upper reaches of Gila River, New Mexico. (see also Gilians and Mimbreños)
This group of clans belongs to the Chiricahua clan system.
Chokonni (Juniper Clan)Chic clan
Jicarilla means "little basket" in Spanish. Known as Tinde in their language, Be'-xai, or Pex'-ge in Navajo, Kinya-inde or Tashi'ne in Mescalero, Keop-tagui, meaning "mountain Apache" in the Kiowa language, Pi'-ke-e-wai-i-ne in Picuris, and Tu-sa-be' in Tesuque.
The Jicarilla Apache are one of the 7 major Apachean groups and currently live in northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Also referenced as living in Texas Panhandle.
These two bands have been referred to by some authors as moieties.
Olleros, meaning "potters," in the west, (also known as Hoyero, the "mountain people,")Llaneros or "plains people," (sometimes referred to as "sand people"),who ranged east of the Rio Grande. The name was historically used to refer to a number of different groups that hunted buffalo seasonally on the Plains, also referenced in eastern New Mexico and western Texas. (Also see Carlanas.)
This group belongs to the Jicarilla clan system. Each Jicarilla band had six clans.
Dachizhozhin: site of the present Jicarilla Reservation.
Golkahin: south of Taos Pueblo.
Ketsilind: south of Taos Pueblo.
Saitinde: around what is now Espanola.
Lipan Apache are one of the 7 major Apachean groups. Once in eastern New Mexico and Texas to the southeast to Gulf of Mexico, the relationships between these groups are not entirely clear to anthropologists. Most of the Lipan bands are now in Mexico. They were often known under the designation Cancy or Chanze, the French form of the Caddo collective name (Kä'ntsi) for the eastern Apache tribes.
Natagés are a Lipan band in eastern New Mexico and western Texas.LipajenneLipanes de ArribaLipanes de Abajo19 bands in Mexico
The Mescalero Apache are one of the 7 major Apachean groups, generally living in what is now eastern New Mexico and western Texas.
Faraones (also Paraonez, Pharaones, Taraones, Taracones, Apaches Faraone) is derived from Spanish Faraón meaning"Pharaoh". Before 1700, the name was vague without a specific reference. Between 1720-1726, it referred to Apaches between the Rio Grande in the east, the Pecos River in the west, the area around Santa Fe in the north, and the Conchos River in the south. After 1726, Faraones only referred to the north and central parts of this region. The Faraones probably were, at least in part, part of the modern-day Mescaleros or had merged with the Mescaleros. After 1814, the term Faraones disappeared having been replaced by Mescalero.
This group belongs to the Chiricahua clan system.
The Kiowa-Apache, also known as the Plains Apache, Naisha, or Na ishandine, are one of the 7 major Apachean groups. They currently live in OK among the Kiowa, which is a different tribe who speaks one of the Tanoan languages. Ná'iisha (also Ná'esha, Na´isha, Na'isha, Na'ishandine, Na-i-shan-dina, Na-ishi, Na-e-ca, Na'isha´, Nadeicha, Nardichia, Nadíisha-déna, Na'dí'i´sha´', Nadí'iishaa, and Naisha are other names that refer to the Plains Apache.
Querechos referred to by Coronado in 1541, possibly Plains Apaches, at times maybe Navajo. Other early Spanish might have also called them Vaquereo or Llanero.
This group belongs to the Jicarilla clan system.
The Western Apache are one of the 7 major Apachean groups.
White Mountain Apache were the most eastern group of the Western Apache according to Goodwin. Formerly the Sierra Blanca Apache, a part of the Coyoteros, so called on account of their mountain home. The name is now applied to all the Apache under Ft Apache Agency, AZ, consisting of Arivaipa, Tsiltaden or Chilion, Chiricahua, Coyotero, Mimbrefio, and Mogollon.
Coyotero, a southern division of the pre-Rez White Mountain local group, but can also mean Apaches in general, Western Apaches or a band in the high plains of southern Colorado to Kansas.The San Carlos Apache ranged closest to Tucson, according to Goodwin.Cibecue, lived to the North of the Salt River between the Tontos and White Mountain groups according to Goodwin.Tontos Apache are further divided into the Northern Tonto and Southern Tonto groups by Goodwin. They originally lived in the northern and western most areas of the Western Apache group according to Goodwin. This is north of Phoenix, north of the Verde River. Some have suggested that the Tonto are originally Yavapais, who were not true Apaches, but who assimilated Western Apache culture. Tonto is one of the major dialects of the Western Apache language. Tonto Apache speakers are traditionally bilingual in Western Apache and Yavapai.
This group belongs to the Chiricahua clan system. There are 62 Western Apache clans. These derive from three archaic clans, on which basis they are grouped into phratries. Clans are associated with the clan mother's garden site. The clan name is related to this place of its origin.
Arivaipa, also known as Aravaipa. The Arivaipa are known as Tsézhiné, meaning "Black Rock" in the Western Apache language.The Juniper Clan of the White Mountain Apache at San Carlos agency and Ft Apache, called by them Yogoyekayden, reappears as Chokonni among the Chiricahna and as Yagoyecayn among the final Coyoteros.Destchin (Red Paint), which is correlated to the Chic clan of the Chiricahua and appears to have separated from the Satchin (Red Rock) clan, both being represented among the Navaho by the Dhestshini (Red Streak).The Carrizo clan, Klokadakaydn, of San Carlos agency and Ft Apache is the Khugaducayn (Arrow Reed) of the Pinal Coyoteros.Tutzose, (also spelled "Tutzone") the Water clan of the Pinal Coyoteros, is found also among the White Mountain Apache The White Mountain Apache Walnut clan, called Chiltneyadnaye, corresponds to the Pinal Coyotero Chisnedinadinave.Natootzuzn (Point of Mountain), a clan at San Carlos agency, corresponds to Nagosugn, a Pinal Coyotero clan.Tizsessinaye (Little Cottonwood Jungle of the former) seems to have divided into the clans Titsessinaye of the Pinal Coyotero, of the same signification, and Destchetinaye (Tree in a Spring of Water). Kayhatin (also spelled "Kaihatin")is the name of the Willow clan among both the San Carlos and White Mountain, and the Navajo have one, called Kai.Tzisequittzillan (Twin Peaks) of the White Mountain Apache, Tziltadin (Mountain Slope) of the Pinal Coyotero, and Navaho Dsilanothilni (Encircled Mountain), and Tsayiskidhni (Sagebrush Hill), are supposed by Bourke to have had a common origin.Band or Clan? Akonye Kaynaguntl
Extinct, Merged, or Unidentified Apache
The Carlanas were located in what is now Southeastern Colorado. Remenants of this Apache group merged with the Lipan bands. They were once considered to be Eastern Apache.
Gileño (also known as Apaches de Gila, Apaches de Xila, Apaches de la Sierra de Gila, Xileños, Gilenas, Gilans, Gilanians, Gila Apache, Gilleños) was used to refer to several different Apachean and non-Apachean groups at different times. Gila refers to either the Gila River or the Gila Mountains. Some of the Gila Apaches were probably later known as the Mogollon Apaches, a subdivision of the Chiricahua, while others probably evolved into the Chiricahua proper. However, since the term was used indiscriminately for all Apachean groups west of the Rio Grande (i.e. in southeast Arizona and western New Mexico), the reference is often unclear. After 1722, Spanish documents start to distinguish between these different groups, in which case Apaches de Gila refers to Western Apaches living along the Gila River (and thus synonymous with Coyotero). American writers first used the term to refer to the Mimbres (another subdivision of the Chiricahua), while later the term was confusingly used to refer to Coyoteros, Mogollones, Tontos, Mimbreños, Pinaleños, Chiricahuas, as well as the non-Apachean Yavapai (then also known as Garroteros or Yabipais Gileños). Another Spanish usage (along with Pimas Gileños and Pimas Cileños) referred to the non-Apachean Pima living on the Gila River.
In the Chiricahua Apache clan system, matrilineal marriage groups are organized by generations, with matrilineal relatives being important. The Western Apache Kinship system (including White Mountain, Northern and Southern Tonto, San Carlos and Cibecue Apache) all falls under the Chiricahuan clan type. The Jicarilla clan system groups trace descent through both parents.
Western Apache Kinship
There are over fifty named exogamous matrilineal clans, which form three unnamed phratries. Clans were named after farm sites, and the phratries no doubt formed as a result of population spread and settlement of new farm sites.
Clans functioned to regulate marriage, sponsor and support the ritual activities of their members, enact revenge, and aid in day-to-day cooperative work groups. Since clans tended to be localized within the same band, they operated at a restricted geographic level, but because the phratries were represented in all the subtribes, they provided weak cross-cutting ties among all the Western Apaches.
Clans continue today to play some role in Western Apache politics, feuds, and ritual; the clan, however, is being supplemented by friendships for mutual economic support in ritual activities, and clan endogamous marriages occur. Endogamous marriage means that individuals are marrying their relatives in some way.
Jicarilla Family Kinship
Local groups of extended Families had a base in marriage and blood ties. However, kin groups with economic or political functions above the level of the local group did not exist. Kinship ties were reckoned bilaterally, meaning kinship was traced through both parents.
Jicarilla kinship terminology followed the Iroquoian system. The father and the father's brother were classed under a single term, as were the mother and the mother's sister. Parallel cousins were grouped with siblings and cross cousins were classed separately. No terminological distinction was made between maternal and Paternal grandparents nor between male and female grandchildren.
Lipan Kinship Ties
Lipan Apache were matrilineal and maintained close associations with their matrilaterally extended relatives. A household unit was usually composed of a woman and her husband or consort and her children; often unmarried sisters and brothers of the woman or her matrilineal relatives in the ascending Generation were also present. Unmarried grandchildren might be a part of the household, too. Band membership seems to have followed matrilineal and matrilateral principles as well. But though women ruled in the family, men were in charge of the band.
Mescalero Family Kinship
Mescalero Apache are Matrilineal; however, men are not ignored, especially if one's Lineage includes an important warrior. People today use surnames that are sometimes of one's mother's band or family, sometimes of one's father's, and sometimes a transliteration of a famous ancestor's name into English. People consider as Siblings all the children of one's mother as well as the children of one's mother's sisters.
Sometimes a distinction is made among siblings with the phrase, "same mother, same father"; however, the crucial link is through the mother and laterally from her. Today, with the mid-1980s adoption of a new Tribal Law Code, there seems to be a shift to patrilineal surnames and bilateral descent, although the emphasis is still on the mother's side of the family.
Inheritance of material items also seems to be moving to a bilateral model, although here, too, the emphasis is still through the matrilineage, especially for things considered traditional or esoteric. Band Membership is no longer of consequence and is preserved primarily through stories and few lexical items or shifts in pronunciation.
There is an elaborate set of Kinship terms allowing one to distinguish between relatives through one's mother as distinct from those through one's Father; siblings and first cousins through the matrilineage are referred to by the same term, and other cousins are terminologically distinct.
When speaking English, however, Eskimo type rules are used. Under the Eskimo kinship rules, there is an emphasis on bilateral descent; no division is made between patrilineal and matrilineal kin; nuclear family members are assigned unique labels not extended to any other relatives; and more distant collateral relatives are grouped together on the basis of distance. This practice is called Collateral Merging.