Apache People: Chiefs, Medicine Men, Women of Note and Modern Day Heroes
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  Apache People: Chiefs, Medicine Men, Women of Note and Modern Day Heroes

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Apache People: Chiefs, Medicine Men, Women of Note and Modern Day Heroes

Famous Apache people including chiefs, medicine men, women of note, and modern day heroes. Famous Apache chiefs and medicine men include Geronimo, Cochise, Victorio, Santos, Juh, Nahche, Nakaidoklini, and Mangas Coloradas.

Aravaipa Apache

  • Eskiminzin (Chief Hashkebansiziin)
    Eskiminzin was born a Pinal Apache but married into the Aravaipa Apache (also called Western Apache). Eskiminzin was an important Aravaipa Apache Chief during the Apache Wars. He was instrumental in the negotiations which set the terms which established the San Carlos Reservation.


  • Chief Chato
    Chato was a Great Mountain apache chief and warrior who led raiding-parties along with Apache Chiefs Bonito, Victorio, and Geronimo, killing settlers in New Mexico, Arizona, and Mexican territories. After they surrendered he became an army scout, received a presidential medal, and settled on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in Ruidoso New Mexico. He was killed in an auto accident in 1934.
  • Apache Chief Bonito (also spelled Benito)
    Was in a group who killed Judge and Mrs. H.C. McComas and took their six year old son, Charlie hostage. Bonito settled on the San Carlos Reservation.
  • Loco
    Chiracahua medicine man, Warm Springs Apache Chief
  • Old Nana
    The famous Apache Chief, who in 1880 at over age 70, was fighting and leading Geronimo and Naiche in battles. He was a nephew of Delgadito, and married a sister of Geronimo. Nana was often with Victorio in his many battles. He fought as a warrior well into his 80s.
  • Mangas
    Warm Springs Apache chief, son of Mangas Colorado who was the father - in -law to Cochise.
  • Mangas Coloradas or Mangas Colorado (meaning: Red Sleeve)
    A Mimbreno Apache chief. After he was bound and whipped by miners at the Pinos Altos gold mines, Mangas Coloradas collected a large band of Apache and became the scourge of the white settlements for years. He formed an alliance with Cochise.
  • Cochise
    • Cochise: 'Cut Through the Tent' Incident
      As Cochise vanished up a hill, the soldiers fired 50 or more shots at him.
    • Natches, also known as Nai-che (meaning: mischievous or meddlesome)
      Chiracahua chief, son of Cochise, successor to older brother Taza who died in Washington D.C. on a offical visit in 1876. Naches was taken as a prisoner of war first to Florida, then to Alabama, and finally to Ft Sill, Oklahoma.
    • Alchise
      Youngest son of Cochise, became a scout under General Crook's command and helped bring in Geronimo and Naiche to surrender in 1886.
  • Ka-e-te-nay or Gait-en-eh, also spelled Ka-T-Te-Kay
    Head chief of Warm Springs Apaches, successor to Victorio.
  • Apache Chief Victorio
    The greatest leader of the Mimbreño Apaches (often called Gila or Warm Springs Apaches).
  • Apache Chief Sanches
  • Apache Chief Taza
  • Apache Chief Chihuahua
  • Chief Juh (pronounced "Hoo")
    Chiricahua leader of the Nednhi. He was a cousin of Geronimo and spoke with a stammer. He had much greater success as a warrior than Geronimo ever did. In 1880 Juh surrendered with Geronimo and moved to San Carlos.
  • Chief Jump Off aka Nantan Dole Tasso
    Apache Chief and medicine man.
  • Noch-ay-del-klinne or Nakaidoklini (meaning: freckled Mexican)
    A Chiricahua Apache medicine-man called Babbyduclone, Barbudeclenny, Bobby-dok-linny, Nakydoklunni, Nock-ay-Delklinne, etc., by the whites, influential among the White Mountain Indians in 1881, near Camp Apache, Ariz. He taught them a new dance, claiming it would bring dead warriors to life. In an attempt to arrest him, August 30, the Apache scouts with the troops turned upon the soldiers, resulting in a fight in which several were killed on each side, including the medicine-man himself. This battle became known as the "Cibecue affair" of 1881.

Tonto Apache

  • Chalipun, Tontos Apache leader

San Carlos Apache

  • Chesley Goseyun Wilson
    Wilson is a medicine man, qualified to conduct important tribal ceremonies, a singer, a dancer, and the last active member of a family of Apache violin makers descended from Amos Gustina, a seminal musician of the Western Apache people.
  • Cassadore, one of the leaders of the San Carlos band.
  • Antonio, San Carlos leader.
  • Eskinospas, San Carlos leader.

White Mountain Apache

  • Chief Diablo
    One of the most influential chiefs of the White Mountain Apache.
  • Chief Hashkedasila
    Chief Hashkedasila invited the United States government to establish a military facility on his land.
  • Alchesay, the White Mountain leader.

Yavapais Apache

  • Delshay, who led the Yavapais.

Apache Actors and Actress

  • Jeri Arredondo (Mescalero Apache) actor
  • Barbara Bartleson (Navajo/Jicarilla Apache) actress
  • Darren E. Burrows (Apache ancestry). Actor - Ed on Northern Exposure.
  • Gregory Norman Cruz (1/8 Chiricahua Apache and 3/ 4 Mexica (Mexican Native American)). He appeared in Scarface, had a starring role in "Tecumseh", won the theater critic's award for his lead in "Three Penny Opera", and recently guest starred on" Dr. Quinn", "J.A.G.", and "The Pretender", and a lot of other stuff.
  • Billy Drago. (Apache). Real name: Billy Eugene Burrows. Actor.
  • Elena Finney (Mescalero-Apache, Mexican Tarascan Indian and Irish) actress
  • Wonzie Klinekole (Enrolled member of the Mescalero-Apache tribe. She's Mescalaro-Apache/Kiowa-Apache/Comanche). Actress. "Rays of the Sun," on Walker, Texas Ranger as Emily Red Hawk in #Plague.
  • Sacheen Littlefeather 1947-, (Apache/Yaqui/Pueblo) actress and activist
  • Valentina Firewalks Lopez (Mescalero Apache). Actress. Stars in Bonnie Looksaway's Iron Art Wagon.
  • Mike Martinez (Apache descent), stuntman.
  • Richard Martin Jr. (White Mountain Apache) Actor. Lots of parts in the 70s.
  • Michael Minjarez (Apache) actor
  • Miguel Najera (Otomi/Apache)
  • Theodore Pony Boy Osuniga (Jicarilla Apache, Japanese, and German) actor and flute player.
  • Joe Saenz (Apache) actor
  • Alan Tafoya (Jicarilla Apache), Actor, Model
  • Jay Tavare, (White Mountain Apache and Navajo) actor
  • Tenya Torres. (Apache)
  • Raoul Trujillo,(Apache) dancer, choreographer, actor
  • John Two Eagles (Chiricahua Apache), actor.
  • Del Zamora(Mescalero Apache / Mexican)Actor, Director

Apache Activists

  • Mike Davis
  • Ola Cassadore Davis (San Carlos Apache)
  • Wendsler Nosie
  • Joe Saenz
  • Margo Tamez (Lipan Apache)

Apache Authors

  • Jimmy Santiago Baca
    Born in New Mexico of Apache-Mexican descent, Jimmy Santiago Baca was raised first by his grandmother and later sent to an orphanage. A runaway at age 13, it was after Baca was sentenced to five years in a maximum security prison that he began to turn his life around: he learned to read and write and unearthed a voracious passion for poetry. He has conducted hundreds of writing workshops in prisons, community centers, libraries, and universities throughout the country.
  • Lou Cuevas
    Lou Cuevas was born in 1946. He writes about Southwest and Apache legends and culture, and is a member of the First Friday Forum Writers' Group.
  • Odilia Galvan Rodriguez (Apache)
    Born in 1953 Galveston, Texas, Odilia was aised from the age of 2 in Chicago, IL. BA degree from Antioch Univeristy MFA Creative Writing, Mills College "I live a writer's life, and have a practice of writing everyday to try and improve my craft. Human rights is as important to me as social justice. She says, "I endeavor to include my philosophy or world view - which is an indigenous one, in all the work I do."
  • Antonio R. Garcez (Otomi / Apache)
    Garcez attributes his interest in the spiritual and supernatural to his grandparents. They were the ones who taught him to respect spirits, healers, and other forces of nature. He is known for being the first to publish a collection of true, modern, first-hand accounts of experiences with ghosts. Established as an authority on the paranormal, he has been featured on numerous national and international television and radio programs. Garcez graduated with a B.A. from California State University at Northridge and then attended graduate school at the University of Wisconsin. Before becoming a writer, Garcez was a marketing director at a health care facility. Antonio continues to write from his home in Northern California.
  • Michael Lacapa (Apache / Hopi)
    Michael and Kathleen Lacapa have together written children's books about Native culture and heritage. Michael Lacapa is also a talented illustrator.
  • Patricia Phillips (Apache, Seneca, Deleware)
    Phillips lives in Turtle Island Oklahoma. She started her professional writing career at the age of 16 and has been writing for over 30 years. Throughout Phillips' career she has won numerous awards, including journalistic awards for aerospace reporting and feature writing. She is a storyteller as well as a ladies traditional dancer.
  • Anna Price (Her Grey eyes) , 1837-1937
    Anna Price was the eldest daughter of Diablo, one of the most influential chiefs of the White Mountain Apache.
  • Mrs. Andrew Stanley 1866-?
    Mrs. Andrew Stanley, a White Mountain Apache, has had her personal narrative published in the book Apache Raiding and Warfare , edited by Keith H. Basso. In this book, she tells of her daring escape from Fort Apache in Arizona in the late 19th century. This narrative also tells of her hardships in rejoining her people.
  • Margo Tamez 1962- (White Mountain Apache - Jumano Apache, Lipan Apache)
    Activist, poet, author,community historian, educator.

Apache Women

  • Maa-ya-ha (Grandmother Nellie)
    The maternal grandmother of Ernestene Cody Begay, Maa-ya-ha, was born around 1879 into the band of Western Apaches living near Cibecue Creek. She knew a great deal about herbs, was an accomplished basket weaver, farmer and midwife. She also served as an attendant during many Sunrise Dances. Maa-ya-ha had ten children with her husband, Eskin-na-chik.
  • Gouyen, (meaning "Wise Woman")- Apache warrior
    Gouyen was born into Chief Victorio's Warm Springs Apache band around 1880. One day, while the group was resting at Tres Castillos, New Mexico, it was attacked by Mexicans. When the offensive was over, seventy-eight Apaches had been murdered and only seventeen had escaped, including Gouyen and her young son, Kaywaykla. Her baby daughter, however, was murdered and shortly afterwards her husband was killed in a Comanche raid while visiting the Mescalero Apaches.

    A legendary tale is told about the revenge of Gouyen. One night following her husband's death, she put on her buckskin puberty ceremony dress and left the camp carrying a water jug, dried meat, and a bone awl and sinew for repairing her moccasins. She was looking for the Comanche chief who had killed her husband. Finally, she found him engaged in a Victory Dance around a bonfire with her husband's scalp hanging from his belt. Gouyen slipped into the circle of dancers, seduced the chief, and killed him, avenging her husband's death. Then she scalped him, cut his beaded breechcloth from his body and tore off his moccasins. She then returned to her camp to present her in-laws with the Comanche leader's scalp, his clothing and his footwear.

    Gouyen remarried an Apache warrior named Ka-ya-ten-nae. Later, she and her family were taken prisoner by the U.S. Army and held at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where she died.
  • Lozen
    Lozen was born into the Chihenne, Warm Springs Apache band, during the late 1840's. She was the sister of Chief Victorio and a skillful warrior, a prophet, and an outstanding medicine woman. Victorio is quoted as saying, "Lozen is my right hand, strong as a man, braver than most, and cunning in strategy. Lozen is a shield to her people."

    Legend has it that Lozen was able to use her powers in battle to learn the movements of the enemy and that she helped each band that she accompanied to successfully avoid capture. After Victorio's death, Lozen continued to ride with Chief Nana, and eventually joined forces with Geronimo's band, eluding capture until she finally surrendered with this last group of free Apaches in 1886. She died of tuberculosis at the Mount Vernon Barracks in Mobile, Alabama.
  • Mildred Cleghorn (1910–1997)
    Former Chairwoman of the Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma.

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