Raiders on HorsebackEdward Curtis© Royal Ontario MuseumS81.365
Raiders on Horseback
Edward Curtis
© Royal Ontario Museum


The Apache and Navajo share Athapaskan ancestry, having migrated long ago from Northern Canada. The Apache (their name derives from apachu, the Zuni word for "enemy"), call themselves N'de, or Tinde, meaning "the people". The Apache are a collective of many groups, which include the Mescalaro, Jicarilla, Chiricahua, Lipan, Western and Kiowa-Apache. With the aid of horses, Apache tribes roamed over a large area of land, which extended from Oklahoma to Colorado to Mexico, moving between buffalo-hunting on the Plains to small game hunting in the mountains. Many groups engaged in some agricultural activities as well.

After the Southwest came under United States control as a result of the Mexican War, the Apaches retaliated when settlers seized their lands. When the Apache leader Geronimo (Goyathlay) finally surrendered in 1886, Native resistance in the Southwest ended.