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


Apache History: The coming of the white manGeronimo tells of his first encounters with white men.
Subdivisions of the Apache TribeAs explained by Geronimo as he tells his life story.
Geronimo and the Apache culture of his youthApache customs in the rearing of a child through manhood are explained.
Geronimo autobiography – the early years
Apache marriage and burial customs and the family of GeronimoGeronimo explains Apache marriage and burial customs in his life history, as well as some of his family relationships.
Apache tribal amusements, manners, and customsAs explained by Geronimo in the telling of his life story.
Words spoken by Goyathlay (Geronimo)
Apache History: Jeff Smith, slave of Geronimo
Famous Geronimo Speech Historical account about two boys who were taken captive by the Lipan apache and Comanche indians.
Chiricahua History: The apache – mexican warsHistorical account by Geronimo of his involvement in the Apache – Mexican Wars.
Chiricahua History: Geronimo’s Mightiest Battle with the MexicansHistorical account by Geronimo of his greatest battle.
Varying fortunes of the bedonkohe apachesfrom the Autobiography of Geronimo
The Warpath of GeronimoRaids that were successful according to the autobiography of Geronimo.
Geronimo goes on the warpath with the MexicansGeronimo continues to seek revenge on the Mexicans as told in his autobiography.
Geronimo’s Mightiest Battle with the Mexicans
Massacre of KaskiyehGeronimo lost his whole family in the massacre of Kaskiyeh. This is his account of the massacre from his autobiography.
The Warpath of Geronimo: raids that were successful
Apache childhood, farming practices and medine menIn his autobiography, Geronimo tells us about his early childhood, apache farming and harvesting practices, and how medicine men healed a woman attacked by a grizzly bear.
Wives and burial place of GeronimoA detailed list of all the wives of Gernonimo and his burial place.
Skull and Bones society at Yale University has Geronimo’s skull – Apaches want it backAmerican Indians are petitioning Congress to investigate the elite Skull and Bones society at Yale University and request return of the remains of Chiricahua Apache warrior Geronimo to Apaches for reburial.
New lawsuit against Yale Skull and Bones Society regarding Geronimo’s bones
Why do we yell Geronimo?Learn the legend behind this phrase.
Congress petitioned for return of Geronimo’s remains 
Where is Geronimo buried?


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
Choctaw Code Talkers – World War I veterans
Clarence Carnes (1927–1988) – Alcatraz inmate
Tobias William Frazier, Sr. (1892–1975) – Choctaw code talker
Samantha Crain (b. 1986) – singer/songwriter, musician
Kalyn Free – attorney
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.


Cochise: ‘Cut Through the Tent’ IncidentAs Cochise vanished up a hill, the soldiers fired 50 or more shots at him.
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

TV Slur Revives Debate About Sacheen Littlefeather and Her Role in Marlon Brando’s Oscar Refusal

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

October 26, 2014

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.

Famous Apache
December 27, 2005

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

Famous Apache
February 18, 2002

Keywords: Speech by Geronimo Goyathlay Apache speech speeches by apache chief geronimo american indian history historical speech by native american Apache Indian oration Chiricahua Band Apache Nation Bedonke Bedonkohe APACHE Source: Public Domain Documents “We are vanishing from the earth, yet I cannot think we are useless or Usen (God) would not have created us…. […]

Famous Apache
February 18, 2002

Keywords: geronimo apache culture Chief Geronimo No-doyon canyon Goyathlay Goyahkla apache games Apache ritual APACHE god Usen apache taboos apaches ceremonies Apache Indians first moccasins ceremony Bedonkohe Apache tribe hoop-and-pole game Author: Rhea M. Coleman One day, so ordinary its events were not recorded exactly, but known to be during the 1820s, in the high […]

Famous Apache
February 7, 2002

Keywords: apaches first encounter with white men apache history apache wars Apache Chief Geronimo geronimo GERONIMO apache tribe Arizona indians indian history indian wars conference at Apache Pass Fort Bowie Bedonkohe Apaches Sanza Kladetahe Niyokahe Gopi bedonkohe apaches Chokonen Apaches Cochise Mangus Colorado Bedonkohe Apaches Source: As told by Geronimo, Public Domain Documents About the […]

Famous Apache
February 7, 2002

Keywords: Geronimo’s Mightiest Battle GERONIMO geronimo autobiography biography Arizona indians native american history apaches southwest indians 1883 indian wars 1884 apache war San Carlos Reservation Arispe Source: As told by Geronimo, Public Domain Documents AFTER the treachery and massacre of Casa Grande we did not reassemble for a long while and when we did we […]

Famous Apache
February 6, 2002

Source: As told by Geronimo, Public Domain Documents About 1873 we were again attacked by Mexican troops in our settlement, but we defeated them. Then we decided to make raids into Mexico. We moved our whole camp, packing all our belonging on mules and horses, went into Mexico and made camp in the mountains near […]

Famous Apache
February 6, 2002

Source: As told by Geronimo, Public Domain Documents In the fall of 1865 with nine other warriors I went into Mexico on foot. We attacked several settlements south of Casa Grande, and collected many horses and mules. We made our way northward with these animals through the mountains. When near Arispe we made camp one […]

Famous Apache
February 6, 2002

Source: As told by Geronimo, Public Domain Documents In the summer of 1862 I took eight men and invaded Mexican territory. We went south on the west side of the Sierra Madre Mountains for five days; then in the night crossed over to the southern part of the Sierra de Sahuaripa range. Here we again […]

Famous Apache
February 6, 2002

Source: As told by Geronimo, Public Domain Documents All the other Apaches were satisfied after the battle of Kaskiyeh, but I still desired more revenge. For several months we were busy with the chase and other peaceful pursuits. Finally I succeeded in persuading two other warriors, Ah-koch-ne and Ko-deh-ne, to go with me to invade […]

Famous Apache
February 6, 2002

Keywords: massacre of Kaskiyeh death of Geronimo’s family descendants of geronimo Chokonen Chiricahua Apaches Bedonheko Apaches Cochise chiricahua apache Alope wife of Geronimo Bedonkohe Apaches Kas-ki-yeh apache mexican wars Apache Mexican war Mangus-Colorado Nedni Apaches Whoa apache chiefs Chokonen tribe bedonkohe apache tribe Source: As told by GERONIMO, Public Domain Document In the summer of […]

Famous Apache
February 6, 2002

Keywords: Geronimo Geronamo GERONIMO apache chief geronimo autobiography early years Apache leader Apache Indians apache history Arizona indian Porico brother of Geronimo Nah-da-ste sister of Geronimo Apache baskets apache basket poster Indian uses of herb medicinal herbs apache Indian crops north american indian history account of a grizzly bear attack Source: As told by Geronimo, […]

Famous Apache
February 4, 2002

The chain of events began the prior October, with an attack on the ranch of John Ward, in the Sonoita Valley about 12 miles from Fort Buchanan, the first American fort in the Gadsden Purchase territory, established in 1857. At the time of this affair, Buchanan was home to Companies C and H of the 7th Infantry.

Famous Apache