May 16, 2008

Did the Apache and Sioux intermarry?


I know this may be a strange question and i am sorry if it seems not right to ask, but i was wondering if there had been any sioux – apache weddings? Meaning the girl was apache and the boy sioux? There is a very valid reason for this question but I am not allowed to talk about it. Only to ask. Please can you go back as to 14-15 hundred years. Or after.

   ~Submitted by Kerry S.


I suppose it could be possible, through trade routes or captive prisoners taken in raids and later traded, but 14-1500 years ago the Apache and Sioux tribes lived in very different regions of the US, separated by mountain ranges and great distances, and they were neither neighbors, enemies or friends. There was very little, if any, contact between those two tribes before the reservation era.

In ancient times, the Apache people were once a part of the Navajo tribe. Traditional Apache territory was in Arizona, New Mexico and Old Mexico, while the Sioux were originally from Minnesota and around the great lakes in Michigan and Wisconsin.

More than 1,000 miles separated them, so geographically their paths would not have been likely to cross, or at least not often. During that time period, they did not have horses and the Sioux were sedentary farmers who had not yet adopted a nomadic lifestyle.

Later many of the Sioux tribes migrated to the great plains in the late 1600s and early to mid 1700s, primarily to the area that is now Alberta, Canada and North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska in the US. It was during this period that the Sioux aquired the horse and began adopting a nomadic lifestyle. With the aquisition of the horse, the Sioux extended their rage to include periodical trips into Wyoming, and parts of Montana, Kansas, Iowa and Colorado on hunting and trading expeditions.

There is an area called the Four Corners region where the states of Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah share borders. It is possible some Sioux and Apache people could have met each other somewhere in this area.

There were extensive trade routes used by many tribes, who often bartered local goods for items from far away places. That trade would have included slaves. The Sioux were known to keep slaves, and often adopted them into their families, or on occasion took a slave for a marriage partner.

Marriages between neighboring tribes were often arranged to strengthen political alliances. Often these arrangements were made when the couple to be married were still very small children. However, the Apache and Sioux were never neighboring tribes in the pre-reservation era.

During the removal era in the mid to late 1800s, both Apache and Sioux people were placed in Indian Territory in Oklahoma, at least for a time. Different tribes in Indian Territory usually had a specific area where members of their tribe congregated, but there was probably some interaction between the various tribes in that area during that era. Eventually the Apache people and the Sioux peoples were given separate reservations in vastly different parts of the country.

Both Apache and Sioux were also sent to Florida during the removal era. Many of those sent to Florida had been war chiefs or were considered troublemakers by the whites for some reason. Sometimes their families accompanied them, but more often the women and children were sent to Oklahoma while the warriors were sent to Florida and it was many years before they were reunited with their families. Many indian men took new wives or second wives during their time in Florida, and intermarriages between tribes did occur.

Between 1948-1979, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) initiated a relocation program that moved american indians from reservations to urban areas. In 1951 there were Field Relocation Offices in Denver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Offices were later added in other cities, including Oakland, San Jose, San Francisco, Dallas, Cleveland, and St. Louis.

The BIA relocation program originally provided transportation, job placement, subsistence funds until the first paycheck, and counseling. In 1956 Public Law 959 added vocational training to the program. Participants, mostly between the ages of eighteen and thirty-five, received two years of benefits for either on-the-job experience or vocational classes. By 1960 a total of 33,466 Indians had been relocated under this program.

Today, slightly more than half of all american indians live off their respective reservations and many have intermarried with people of all tribes and races.

Related Links on this Web Site:

Apache marriage and burial customs

Cherokee marriage customs

The Shawnee marriage dance

Cheyenne marriage and wedding customs

Apache bands and clans

Shawnee marriage customs

Marriage and wedding customs of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation

Cherokee and Sioux courtship and wedding customs

Wedding vase ceremony

Sioux tribal traditions

Cherokee wedding customs

Pueblo wedding vase ceremony

Kaw wedding customs

1,000 white women for Cheyenne brides

Sacred fire wedding ceremony

Sioux wedding prayer

Cherokee wedding

Indian Wedding Prayer

Nez Perce Marriage and Wedding Customs

Ohiyesa speaks of Sioux tribal traditions

External Links

Plains Indians Timeline

North America Timeline 1400-1600AD

Lakota Sioux and Apache Words

Apache chastity and marriage

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