NAME: Derived From the Zuni word Apachu, meaning "enemy."
They call themselves Na-i-sha-dena (dena means "people"). Although long known
to historians as the Kiowa Apache (since they had lived on the plains longer
than any nomadic tribe other than the Kiowa), the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
is the modern name by which members of this small tribe wish to be known.
They are separate from the sub-tribe called Fort Sill or Chiricahua
LANGUAGE: Of the
Southern branch of the Athbaecan linguistic family, once concentrated in
the Arizona-New Mexico region. They also had a sign language.
HISTORY: Apache ancestors were found in this area by the Coronado expedition
of 1541 (the first Europeans here). Horses introduced by the Spaniards made
great changes in Apache life. The last of four U.S. treaties signed was the
Treaty of Medicine Lodge which gave the Apache, Kiowa and Comanche a reservation
in western Indian Territory. In 1901, all Apache members received 160-acre
allotments. Until 1963, they were governed by a joint constitution with the
Comanche and Kiowa. In 1972, they adopted their own constitution and bylaws.
CULTURE: These were true "buffalo Indians" who followed migrating
buffalo for food, tepees, clothing and tools. They used dogs for transport
and traded with their neighbors. They became known as Kiowa Apache because
in the 19th century they were often associated with the Kiowa at trade gatherings
and treaty conferences - yet the Apache were always a distinct social entity.
LANDMARKS: Apache Historical Museum (Ft. Sill); exhibits at the Plains
Indians and Pioneer Museum (Woodward); Southern Plains Indian Museum, Philomathic
Museum and Indian City, USA (Anadarko).
CEREMONIES: The Apache take part in the annual American Indian
Exposition in Anadarko. A former warrior society dance, the Manatidie, has
been revived and is now a highlight event.
Current tribal roll: 1802
Rebecca Torres, Chief