July 16, 2015

1742-1743 UNITED STATES (Oklahoma / New Mexico) - The Chiricahua Apache Nation

1742 Chiricahua Apache Nation - Bonito, Chiricahua Chief

Considered being part of the Eastern Apaches (which include also the Mescalero, Jicarilla, Lipan, and Kiowa Apache), Chiricahua were, as other Apaches, a collection of bands which shared a common area, language, customs, and intertwined family relations. At the time they encountered Europeans, they were living in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona in the United States, and in northern Sonora and Chihuahua in Mexico, but today there are only two Chiricahua federally recognized tribes in the United States: the Fort Sill Apache Tribe (near Apache, Oklahoma); and the Chiricahua tribe located on the Mescalero Apache reservation (near Ruidoso, New Mexico).

1743 Chiricahua Apache Nation - Hattie Tom

The bands that are grouped under the Chiricahua term today had much history together: they intermarried and lived alongside each other, and they also occasionally fought with each other. They formed short-term as well as longer alliances that have caused scholars to classify them as one people. From the beginning of European American/Apache relations, there was conflict between them, as they competed for land and other resources, and had very different cultures. The "hotest" period of the conflict was between 1863 and 1886, when Chiricahua waged almost constant war against US settlers and the Army. The best-known warrior leader of the renegades, although he was not considered a 'chief', was Geronimo. He and Naiche led together many of the resisters during those last few years of freedom.

Since the "band" as a unit was much more important than "tribe" in Chiricahua culture, the Chiricahua had no name for themselves as a people. Their name is most likely the Spanish rendering of the Opata word Chiguicagui (mountain of the wild turkey). Traditionally, the Chiricahua were divided into three to five bands. Today many Chiricahua are identifiable on every Apache reservation. Many more are now coming together in various groups and sub groups even taking steps towards nationhood. The important fact is the Chiricahua Apache Nation still exists and has an ongoing history that to this day is filled with the same passion that made such famous leaders of the people. Blood lines are strong for these fierce brave people who remain the strength of the Nde People.

Their characteristic long-legged moccasins of deerskin have a stout sole turning up at the toes, and the legs of the moccasins, long enough to reach the thigh, are folded back below the knee, forming a pocket in which are carried paints and a knife. The women wore short skirts of buckskin, and the men used to display surplus skins folded about the waist. Their arrows were made of reed tipped with obsidian or iron, the shaft winged with three strips of feathers. They used in battle a long spear and a slung-shot made by inserting a stone into the green hide of a cow’s tail, leaving a portion of the hair attached.

Their camps were located on the highlands in winter that they might catch the warm rays of the sun, and in summer near the water among stunted trees that sheltered them from its scorching glare. Both men and women were fond of wearing necklaces and ear pendants of beads. The hair was worn long and flowing, with a turban, to which was attached a flap hanging down behind; they plucked out the hairs of the beard with tweezers of tin, and wore suspended from their necks a small round mirror which they used in painting their faces with stripes of brilliant colors. Strings of pieces of shell were highly prized. Their customary dwelling was a rude brush hut, circular or oval, with the earth scooped out to enlarge its capacity.

About the stamps
On the postcard 1742
About the first stamp, depicting the president Abraham Lincoln, I wrote here.The last two stamps are part of a series about which I wrote here.

On the postcard 1743
The first stamp, The Star-Spangled Banner, was issued in on January 28, 2014, to marks the 200th anniversary of the flag and song that became the United States anthem. About the second stamp, depicting the president Abraham Lincoln, I wrote here. The last stamp is part of the series Building a Nation, about which I wrote here.

Chiricahua Apache Nde Nation - chiricahuaapache.org
Chiricahua Apache Tribe - accessgenealogy.com

Sender 1742: Denise
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 27.03.2014
Photo: Frank A. Randall / 1884
Sender 1743: Denise
Sent from Greenvale (New York / United States), on 19.03.2014
Photo: Frank A. Rinehard / 1899

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