Famous Apache

Famous Apache chiefs and leaders:
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.

Bedonkohe Apache



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.

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.

Mildred Imoch Cleghorn (Eh-Ohn and Lay-a-Bet)  (December 11, 1910 – April 15, 1997)- One of the last Chiricahua Apaches born under a “prisoner of war” status. She was an educator and traditional doll maker, and was regarded as a cultural leader. First tribal chairman of the Fort Sill Apache tribe.

Loco Chiracahua medicine man, Warm Springs Apache Chief

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.

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.


Lane Adams – Major League Baseball player, Kansas City Royals (Nephew of Choctaw Tribal member and attorney Kalyn Free)

Marcus Amerman (b. 1959) – bead, glass, and performance artist

Michael Burrage (b. 1950) – former U.S. District Judge

Steve Burrage (b. 1952) – Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector

Clarence Carnes (1927–1988) – Alcatraz inmate

Samantha Crain (b. 1986) – singer/songwriter, musician

Rosella Hightower (1920–2008) – prima ballerina

Phil Lucas (1942–2007) – filmmaker

Green McCurtain (d. 1910) – Chief from 1902–1910

Cal McLish (1925–2010) – Major League Baseball pitcher

Devon A. Mihesuah (b. 1957) – author, editor, historian

Joseph Oklahombi (1895-1960) – Choctaw code talker

Peter Pitchlynn (1806–1881) – Chief from 1860–1866

Gregory E. Pyle (b. 1949) – former Chief of the Choctaw Nation

Summer Wesley – attorney, writer, and activist

Wallis Willis – composer and Choctaw freedman

Scott Aukerman (b. 1970) – actor, comedy writer, podcaster

Jicarilla Apache

Chief Garfield Velarde – A Jicarilla Apache and was given his name by Spanish missionaries in honor to the 20th President of the United States. He was reported to have lived to the age of 108.

Flechas Rayadas or Striped Arrows – Chief of the band that defeated the First Regiment of Dragoons in the Battle of Cieneguilla.

Mimbreno Apache (Warm Springs Apaches, Gila Apaches)

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.


Natches, also known as Nai-che (meaning: mischievous or meddlesome) – Chiricahua 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.

Chief Victorio – The greatest leader of the Mimbreño Apaches (often called Gila or Warm Springs Apaches).

Chief Sanches

Chief Taza

Chief Chihuahua

Chief Jump Off aka Nantan Dole Tasso – Apache Chief and medicine man.

Plains Apache (Kiowa Apache)

Ah-zaah (“Prairie Wolf”)


Essa-queta (better known as Pacer or Peso, derived from Pay-Sus)ca. ? – about 1875, Pacer was the leader of the Kiowa Apace tribe. Actually, Pacer was part of the peace faction and kept the main group of Kiowa Apaches on the reservation during the Red River War of 1874-75)


Gonkon (“Defends His Tipi”) or Gonkan  (“Stays in Tipi”), also known as “Apache John”) 

Iron Shirt


Lone Wolf

Tsayaditl-ti (Ta-Ka-I-Tai-Di or Da-Kana-Dit-Ta-I – “White Man”, ca. *1830 – ca. †1900)

Gon-kon-chey-has-tay-yah ((Man Over His Camp) or Koon-Ka-Zachey (Kootz-Zah – “The Cigar”) –

Pacer (Essa-queta or Peso, derived from Pay-Sus)  ca. ? –  1875 – Pacer was the leader of the Kiowa Apace tribe. He was part of the peace faction and kept the main group of Kiowa Apaches on the reservation during the Red River War of 1874-75

Si-tah-le (“Poor Wolf”)

Oh-ah-te-kah (“Poor Bear”)

Tonto Apache

Chalipun, Tontos Apache leader

San Carlos Apache

Douglas Miles – A San Carlos Apache-Akimel O’odham painter, printmaker and photographer from Arizona, who also founded Apache Skateboards and Apache Skate Team.

Chief Talkalai

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 DiabloOne 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 (Deadliest Warrior Series), Model, Musician

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 TamezLipan Apache Activist

DR. ELOISA GARCIA TAMEZ, Lipan Apache human rights defender, and the only Native American woman and individual to counter-sue the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Army, and the U.S. Customs Border Patrol against the construction of the U.S. border wall, in Tamez v. Michael Chertoff et al.

To this day she staunchly defends Aboriginal Title of Lipan Apaches, and challenges the U.S. claims to sovereignty in Indigenous lands and over Indigenous Nations in the U.S. courts and in the Inter-American Commission/Organization of American States.

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 Potters

Tammie Allen (born 1964) – Potter

Apache Sculptors

Bob Haozous (b. 1943) – Post modern sculptor.
Allan Houser (1914–1994) – Modernist sculptor and painter

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 woman 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.

Today, the Apache Tribes include:

Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
Aravaipa Apache – See San Carlos Apache Tribe
Bedonkohe – (Chiricahua Apache Band name)
Chiricahua – (Also See San Carlos Apache Tribe, White Mountain Apache Tribe, and Fort Sill Apache Tribe)
Choctaw-Apache of Ebarb
Fort McDowell Mohave-Apache Community of the Fort McDowell Indian Reservation
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
Jicarilla Apache Nation
Kiowa-Apache – (Also see Apache Tribe of Oklahoma.)
Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation
Lipan Apache
San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation
Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona (Western Apache)
White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation
Yavapai-Apache Nation of the Camp Verde Indian Reservation


Article Index:

Cochise Bio, Apache Chief

Cochise was born about 1805 in an area that is now the northern Mexican region of Sonora, New Mexico, and Arizona as a member of the Chokonen-Chiricahua Apache tribe.


Cochise grew to be about 5’10” tall and weighed about 175 pounds. He was very strong and in his language his name was “Cheis” which meant “having the quality or strength of oak.”

Photo of Apache leader CochiseAt first, Spain and later Mexico tried to take over the land where the Chokonen-Chiricahua lived. The Chiricahua resisted the attempts and warfare broke out which the Apaches won most of the time.

The Mexican forces, with the help of American and Native American mercenaries, began to kill Apache civilians. The father of Cochise was one of these victims. This hardened Cochise against Mexicans and Americans and he resolved to get vengeance.

The Bascom Affair

An Apache raiding party had driven away a local rancher’s cattle and kidnapped his twelve-year-old son (Felix Ward, who later became known as Mickey Free).

Cochise and his band were falsely accused of the incident (which had actually been perpetrated by Coyotero Apaches). An unsuspecting Cochise was invited to the Army’s encampment by an inexperienced Army officer (Lt. George Bascom), who assumed that Cochise was responsible.

Although the Apache leader truthfully maintained his innocence, and offered to look into the matter with other Apache groups, the young officer attempted to arrest him.

Cochise jumped to his feet and immediately escaped by drawing a knife and slashing his way out of the tent. Cochise may have been shot as he fled. Bascom did succeed in capturing some of Cochise’s relatives, who apparently were caught by surprise as Cochise escaped.

Cochise eventually also took hostages to use in negotiations to free the other Indian hostages. However, the negotiations fell apart, mostly because of Bascom’s ignorance, but also because the arrival of more U.S. troops made Cochise believe that the situation was spiraling out of his control.

Both sides eventually killed all their remaining hostages, and the Apache leader went to Mexico while things cooled off. Cochise’s brother and two of his nephews were among the hostages executed by Bascom, which served to further enrage the Apache leader and foment about 11 years of relentless warfare which left southern Arizona a mostly burned-out wasteland (in terms of white and Mexican civilization).

The death toll may have reached as many as 5,000 settlers and travelers (many historians believe this number is an extreme exaggeration, that the toll was more likely a few hundred).

The treachery of Lt. Bascom is still remembered by the Chiricahuas’ descendants today — they remember it as “Cut the Tent.”

Battle of Dragoon Springs

At the Battle of Dragoon Springs, Cochise joined with his father-in-law Mangas Coloradas (Red Sleeves, Kan-da-zis Tlishishen), the powerful Chihenne-Chiricahua chief, in a long series of retaliatory skirmishes and raids on the white settlements and ranches. The Battle of Dragoon Springs was one of these engagements.

During the raids, many people were killed on both sides, but the Apaches quite often had the upper hand, mostly because the United States was distracted by its own internal conflict — the looming Civil War, and did not have the resources in the area to deal with the Apaches from any position of strength.

Additionally, the Apaches’ were highly adapted to living and fighting in the hostile and unforgiving terrain of the southwest.

Apache Pass Conflict

At Apache Pass in 1862, Cochise and Mangas Coloradas, with around 500 fighters, held their ground against a New Mexico-bound force of California volunteers under General James Henry Carleton until caisson-mounted howitzer artillery fire was brought to bear on their positions in the rocks above.

Capture, escape, and retirement

The Cochise Stronghold was in the Dragoon Mountains of southeastern Arizona. Following various skirmishes, Cochise and his men were gradually driven into the Dragoon Mountains but were nevertheless able to use the mountains for cover and as a base from which to continue attacks against the white settlements.

Cochise managed to evade capture and continued his raids against white settlements and travelers until 1872. A treaty was finally negotiated by General Oliver O. Howard, with the help of Tom Jeffords who was Cochise’s only white friend.

Cochise then retired to his new reservation, with his friend Jeffords as agent, where he died of natural causes (probably of abdominal cancer) in 1874. Cochise was buried in the rocks above one of his favorite camps in Arizona’s Dragoon Mountains, now called Cochise Stronghold.

Only his people and Tom Jeffords knew the exact location of his resting place, and they took the secret to their graves.

Cochise’s descendants are said to currently reside at the Mescalero Apache Reservation, near Ruidoso, New Mexico.

Cochise’s Family

He married Dos-teh-seh, the daughter of Mangas Coloradas, in the 1830s.

Congress petitioned for return of Geronimo’s remains

AUTHOR: Brenda Norrell

American Indians are petitioning Congress to investigate
the elite Skull and Bones society at Yale University and return the remains
of Chiricahua Apache warrior Geronimo to Apaches for reburial.

This article has permanently moved to Skull and Bones society at Yale University has Geronimo’s skull – Apaches want it back