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Apache Tribe Facts: Lesson for Kids

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Trenton Judson

Trenton is an assistant English professor with a Master's degree in English.

The Apache Indians have a long and storied history. Explore the Apache tribe from their ancient origins and discover their culture and language, meet some of their greatest leaders, and find out where they are in the 21st century. Updated: 12/21/2021

Who Are the Apache?

You might have heard of cowboys and Indians or seen them in your favorite cartoon battling it out in the old west, but did you know that there are 562 Indian tribes in the United States? Most people don't say 'Indian' to describe these native peoples anymore. Today, they are called Native Americans, and one of the most interesting tribes is called the Apache.

The Apache are a Native American tribe that originated around 850 CE in Canada and the surrounding lands. In 1000 CE, they moved to the Southwestern United States where they settled in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. That's a long trip!

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  • 0:04 Who Are the Apache?
  • 0:40 Apache Name & Language
  • 1:10 Early Apache Life
  • 1:50 Apache Warriors
  • 2:22 Apache in the Modern World
  • 2:43 Lesson Summary
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Apache Warriors

Apache Name & Language

The name 'Apache' comes from another Native American tribe called Zuni. The Zuni used the word apachu or 'enemy' to describe the Apache. The Apache usually call themselves inde or dine which means 'the people.'

Ancient Apache spoke Athapaskan, which is a language that many Native American tribes spoke. It's also very hard for English speakers to pronounce because they have a different way of speaking that uses your nose! Today, some Apache still speak Athapaskan; however, English is spoken by nearly all.

Early Apache Life

Before Western Europe occupied North America, the Apache lived in wickiups. A wickiup is an oval hut that was covered in grass or straw with a wood frame.

a medicine man outside a wickiup

The Apache kept their houses simple so they could move around a lot. They did this to follow the buffalo, which were their main food source. The Apache also used buffalo skin for clothing and to cover their wickiups when they got cold. People that move around to follow food sources are called nomadic.

The Apache were big on family! Most of their groups consisted of family and extended family. The men were the warriors and hunters. Only men were allowed to be chiefs or political leaders. The women stayed home to tend to the children and be ready to move the camp when they needed to.

Apache Warriors

The Apache were famous for having some of the fiercest warriors in North America. Although men did most of the fighting, women and children were trained how to use guns, protect the family, and ride horses.

Geronimo with his rifle

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