What Is the History of the Apache Indians?


Quick Answer

The origins of the Apache Native American people lie in Alaska, Canada and portions of the American Southwest, and eventually the tribe came to concentrate on the Southwest. The people split into two regions separated by the Rio Grande River, where they lived a nomadic lifestyle for several years.

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Full Answer

The Na'ishan, or Plains, Apache were a part of the tribe that separated and lived in what later became Oklahoma. A good number of Apache also moved to the Kansas plains by the beginning of the 18th century, where they grew watermelon, beans and corn, and where they also killed buffalo for food and clothing.

The Spaniards and Apache had hostile confrontations over land in the 1730s. In 1743, the Spaniards gave the Apache parts of Texas to live in. Despite the Apache chief's symbolic move of burying the hatching, and so symbolizing the end of the confrontations, tensions and violence later emerged. A small population of 35 Apache Indians were living in the state of Oklahoma in 1940, and New Mexico had an estimated 1,500 in 1970.

As of 2015, there are 13 different Apache tribes in the United States on reservations in the states of New Mexico, Arizona and Oklahoma, with most of the tribes living in the Southwest.

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