A group of Plains Peoples of the south‐western USA. Traditionally, the Apache practised subsistence farming and hunting, and a system of matrilocal (at the home of the wife) residence. Their nomadic existence, using the dog‐travois (sledge) in the central and southern Great Plains, gradually led them southwards into semi‐desert regions during the 9th to the 15th centuries. They had a reputation as fierce fighters; they and the Navaho raided towns of the Anasazi as early as c.1275. Spanish explorers found them well established in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and northern Mexico in the late 16th century and regular contact with Spanish settlements was developed by the early 17th century. As they, and numerous other tribes on the eastern edges of the plains, acquired horses, competition for buffalo hunting became fierce and the Comanche eventually drove them off the Great Plains into the deserts by the mid‐18th century. The Apache resisted domination by the Spanish and Mexicans until the mid‐19th century, when their territory was incorporated into the USA. They were not finally subjugated, however, until the end of the 19th century, and many of their chiefs, such as Geronimo, entered into American folklore. They now live in the state of Arizona.
Subjects: World History.