Apaches, a fierce nomadic nation of the great Athabascan family, roaming over portions of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona in the United States, and Sonora. Chihuahua, and Durango in Mexico. The Apaches proper have only temporary war chiefs, and do not cultivate the soil, while the Lipans. a tribe of the same race and language, have their regular chiefs whom they obey; and the Navaios, another tribe of the same language, cultivate the ground and manufacture excellent blankets. The Apaches comprise the Jicarillas. in the Sacramento mountains; the Gila Apaches, on the San Francisco; the Tonto Apaches, on the Sierra del Mogoyen, their impregnable position; the Mimbrenos, in the Sierra de los Mimbres; the Copper Mine Apaches, on the Rio Grande, and for part of each year in Chihuahua and Sonora: the Mascalero Apaches, ranging from the Sierra de Guadalupe to that of San Andres and west to the Rio Grande; with some smaller bands. As the Spanish settlements advanced the Apaches became the scourge of the frontier, repelling all attempts to civilize and convert them.

No mission was ever established among them, and they drew to them tribes who shook off the Spanish yoke. A document on Sonora in 1762 estimates the mining towns, stations, and missions depopulated by the Apache inroads into that province at 174. Since the annexation of the Apache territory to the United States the tribe have given great trouble, especially those under Mangas Colorado, who for 50 years led very large bands to war, till he was finally captured and killed while attempting to escape, in 1803. Within a few years an effort has been made by the government to gather the Apaches upon reservations under the superintendency of New Mexico, and there feed them. The sum of $125,000 was appropriated for the support of these Indians in 1871, and the experiment of confining them to particular localities is believed to have been attended with some success. The commissioner estimates that in the event of a complete adoption of the plan, it will require an expenditure of $25,000 a month, or $300,000 a year. The plan of establishing the Apaches on reservations and feeding them for a time was much opposed by the people on the frontiers, Mexican and American, who had long been victims of their ravages.

This led to a massacre at Camp Grant, Arizona, April 30, 1871, of more than 100 Apaches who were actually prisoners in the hands of the United States troops. Cochise, the great Apache chief, however, submitted, visited Washington, and seemed well disposed. The numbers of the Apaches proper in the United States are variously estimated. Mr. Bartlett thought Schoolcraft's statistics too high. By the Indian commissioner in 1871 they were estimated at 7,500, though Cremony in 1808, from eight years' stay in their country, thinks their number at least 25,000. - The language of the Apaches abounds in guttural, hissing, and indistinct intonations. Mr. Bartlett in his " Report on the Boundary Commission," and others, give vocabularies that establish its connection with the Athabascan family. Their lodges are built of light boughs and twigs. The captain of the band wears a kind of helmet made of buckskin, ornamented with a feather. Their arrows are very long, usually pointed with iron. All are mounted on small ponies, capable of great endurance. The Spanish bit, or simply a cord of hair passed between the jaws, forms their bridle. Panniers for holding provisions are generally carried on the horses of the women.

The shells of the pearl oyster, and a rough wooden image, are the favorite ornaments of both sexes. Their feet are protected by high moccasons of buckskin, and the smallness of the foot resulting from this has always distinguished their trail from that of other Indians. Their principal articles of clothing, formerly of deerskin, are now made of coarse cotton cloth. Many of them dress in the breech-cloth only, but they are beginning to wear the blanket and straw hat. The women wear a short petticoat, with their hair loose. Those in mourning for husbands killed in battle cut their hair short. The younger children go almost entirely naked. Those under the age of two years are carried in a kind of osier basket by the mother, in which the child is fastened in a standing posture. When on horseback, the basket is fastened to the saddle. They do not scalp their enemies. They are fond of card-playing and of smoking, and when idle are given to a monotonous kind of singing. When fighting they keep their horses in rapid motion, and are never at rest in the saddle. In their religious ideas they seem to favor the belief in one God; and Montezuma, or his spirit, is blended in their minds with a certain crude religious aspiration.

They have a superstitious reverence for the eagle and owl, and for all perfectly white birds. They equally respect the bear, and refuse to kill it or to partake of the flesh. To the hog they have the same repugnance as the Jews and other Asiatic tribes.