Last modified: 2010-11-06 by rick wyatt
Keywords: chirakawa | warm springs band | apache | fort sill reservation | oklahoma | native american |
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image by Donald Healy, 28 December 2007
map image by Peter Orenski based on input from Don Healy
Chirakawa & Warm Springs Bands of Apache of the Fort Sill Reservation - Oklahoma
Geronimo! No other name in all Native American history as readily brings to mind heroism, bravery, and devotion as does Geronimo's. He was a chief of the Chirakawa (Chiracahua) band of Apache living on the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona in 1881 when an Apache medicine man, Nakaidoklini, was killed by a detachment of U.S. cavalry. The medicine man had been preaching a new Native religion that claimed dead warriors would return and drive the white man from Arizona. The soldiers had been sent to arrest Nakaidoklini for his preachings, but fighting broke out and he was killed.
The Chirakawa, the Warm Springs, and other Apaches fled the reservation. Under Geronimo's leadership they conducted raids throughout Arizona until a cessation of hostilities brought them back in 1884. Shortly after, another dispute broke out when the military banned the use of the Apache ceremonial alcoholic drink tiswin. Again Geronimo and several followers fled the reservation and escaped into Mexico. The U.S. Army relentlessly pursued Geronimo and his outnumbered band. By 1886, Geronimo and his warriors surrendered, suffering from exhaustion and starvation (Letter, Junie Gooley, 15 Feb. 95).
After Geronimo's death in Oklahoma in 1909, his followers received permission to return to the San Carlos Reservation, which most did in 1914. Those who stayed behind, the Chirakawa & Warm Springs Bands of Apache, are still called Chief Geronimo's Apaches and now reside near Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
© Donald Healy 2008
The flag of the Fort Sill Apache Nation salutes their great leader of the past and recalls the lands the Chirakawa and Warm Springs once called home. On a yellow field, the seal (Annin & Co.) bears an image of Geronimo in black, holding a rifle and surrounded by natural elements, not of Oklahoma but of southern Arizona, including a large green Saguaro cactus. The outer white ring, edged in red, bears the official name "FORT SILL APACHE" above and their new home "OKLAHOMA" below, all in red, with black symbols separating the two phrases.
© Donald Healy 2008
information provided by Peter Orenski, 28 December 2007