By James L. Haley

Apaches: A historical past and tradition Portrait, James L. Haley’s dramatic saga of the Apaches’ doomed guerrilla struggle opposed to the whites, used to be a thorough departure from the tactic by way of prior histories of white-native clash. Arguing that "you can't comprehend the background except the culture," Haley first discusses the "life-way" of the Apaches - their mythology and folklore (including the well-known Coyote series), non secular customs, daily life, and social mores. Haley then explores the tumultuous many years of exchange and treaty and of betrayal and bloodshed that preceded the Apaches’ ultimate army defeat in 1886. He emphasizes figures that performed a decisive position within the clash: Mangas Coloradas, Cochise, and Geronimo at the one hand, and Royal Whitman, George criminal, and John Clum at the different.

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They started playing and it was about even. At midnight things were so close that both sides started to cheat. Gopher was with the animals. He burrowed down under the moccasins and watched. When the animals had the bone, he moved it every time the birds guessed correctly. The birds hid some of their staves up Turkey's leg so the animals would think they were closer to winning than they were. Before this turkeys had no tendons in their legs, but now they do because of this. Just when it looked like the animals and monsters were going to win, the birds took the extra staves out of Turkey's leg.

We build up our heroes and craft out villains, and space them through the history pages much likeand sometimes with a motive similar toa decorator furnishing a difficult room: we use them, somewhat mechanically, to give definition to an empty and awkward space. If we can't comprehend the real story, we'll simplify it to something easier and live with the image, and try not to mind the reality. Hence it ought to be axiomatic, but does not seem to be, that a historical narrative reveals as much about the point of view and limitations of the narrator, as it does give insight into the subject.

3 The confusion has in large part hung on to the present day. One of the great modern students of the Southwest wrote of the Western Apaches that they "are one of the most written-about peoples of the Southwest and yet they remain, in my opinion, the most poorly understood by white men. Apaches complain constantly that all the history which is in print misrepresents them, yet so far no Apache autobiographer or even rough chronicler has emerged . . "4 Although the confusion today is slowly lessening, much ground has still to be covered before the white population as a whole can understand these richly enigmatic Indians.

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