Apaches: A History and Culture Portrait by James L. Haley

By James L. Haley

Apaches: A historical past and tradition Portrait, James L. Haley’s dramatic saga of the Apaches’ doomed guerrilla conflict opposed to the whites, used to be an intensive departure from the tactic by way of prior histories of white-native clash. Arguing that "you can't comprehend the historical past until you realize the culture," Haley first discusses the "life-way" of the Apaches - their mythology and folklore (including the recognized Coyote series), spiritual customs, lifestyle, 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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One of the best of the earlier Apache historians wrote that those Indians' fearsome reputation was enhanced by "the fact that the Apaches are among the least known of the Indian tribes. . "3 The confusion has in large part hung on to the present day. One of the great modern students of the Southwest wrote of the Western Apaches that they "are one of the most written-about peoples of the Southwest and yet they remain, in my opinion, the most poorly understood by white men. Apaches complain constantly that all the history which is in print misrepresents them, yet so far no Apache autobiographer or even rough chronicler has emerged .

Elliott West, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Texas at Arlington. Page xi PREFACE So much has been written about Apache Indians during the past century that new material about them must bear some considerable burden of justification. The histories of the different tribes, and particularly their military defeat at the hand of the United States, have been hashed and served over and over. However, much less has been written of the astonishingly rich and varied Apache culture, and virtually all that has been done is readily accessible only to academic and professional ethnologists.

Of course, enough material has been produced recently positing the degree to which this view by the New School is a product of our own postwar guilt and self-hatred, that the point need not be too finely made here. Anyone's view of the past is affected by his perception of himself and his society, but to force the subject of one's history to wallow in a pit of contemporary social demonology, and then present the surprised and blinking tarbaby as a historical reexamination, strikes me as scholarship that will not bear the test of time.

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