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By James L. Haley

Apaches: A background and tradition Portrait, James L. Haley’s dramatic saga of the Apaches’ doomed guerrilla warfare opposed to the whites, was once an intensive departure from the tactic through past histories of white-native clash. Arguing that "you can't comprehend the historical past until you recognize the culture," Haley first discusses the "life-way" of the Apaches - their mythology and folklore (including the recognized Coyote series), spiritual customs, daily life, and social mores. Haley then explores the tumultuous a long time of exchange and treaty and of betrayal and bloodshed that preceded the Apaches’ ultimate army defeat in 1886. He emphasizes figures that performed a decisive position within the clash: Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, and Geronimo at the one hand, and Royal Whitman, George criminal, and John Clum at the different.

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Extra resources for Apaches: A History and Culture Portrait

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The Comanches had to do it because they were driven down from the North Plains by the Sioux. If any analogy can apply, it would likely be to billiard balls banking around a table. One provocative conclusion suggested by this is that, today, when a certain tribe of Indi- Page xvi ans files a lawsuit claiming a given parcel of land as their own by right of heritage, the chances are that it was not theirs, particularly, by heritage at all, but by right of conquest. Or, rather, it was theirs by racial heritage, but by tribal conquest.

The most extensively reexamined period of Apachería is that before 1870. Edwin R. Sweeney's Cochise: Chiricahua Apache Chief (1991) is by far the most important treatment, a superb biography that leaves one eager for him to finish his companion work on Mangas Coloradas. William B. Griffen also has produced two fine studies back-to-back: Apaches at War and Peace: The Janos Presidio, 17501858, and Utmost Good Faith: Patterns of Apache-Mexican Hostilities in Northern Chihuahua Page xxv Border Warfare, 18211848, in 1988 and 1989 respectively.

This very emphatically does not assert that there is ever a final, definitive "history" of any topic to which nothing can be added. Every new generation of scholars must add its insights and raise its questions. But, in the Old School, white people on the frontier were the heroes and Indians were the villains; in the New School, Indians are the heroes and whites the villains. A historian of any detachment at all has to question whether we have truly rethought the subject or simply switched wardrobes on the characters.

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