Thursday, January 29, 2009

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This article includes a list of references or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. Please improve this article by introducing more precise citations where appropriate. (February 2008)
For other uses, see Chiricahua (disambiguation).

Chiricahua (also Chiricahua Apaches, Chiricagui, Apaches de Chiricahui, Chiricahues, Chilicague, Chilecagez, Chiricagua) (pronounced /ˌtʃɪrɨˈkɑːwə/; AHD: [chĭ-rĭ-kä´-wə]) refers to a group of bands of Apache that formerly lived in the general areas of southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona in the United States, and in northern Sonora and Chihuahua in Mexico (it is not possible to precisely define the exact boundaries of their territory).

Apachean tribes ca. 18th century (Ch - Chiricahua, WA - Western Apache, N - Navajo, M - Mescalero, J - Jicarilla, L - Lipan, Pl - Plains Apache


Ba-keitz-ogie (Yellow Coyote), US Army Scout
Led by Cochise and later by Goyaałé (more famously known as Geronimo), this Apache band was the last to resist U.S. government control of the southwest. In 1852, a treaty was signed between the U.S. and the Chiricahuas. During the 1850s, miners and settlers moved into Chiricahua Territory, and the Apache population diminished because of starvation, disease, and attacks. In 1861, the Chiricahuas began fighting the U.S. after Mangas Coloradas was whipped by miners and Cochise’s relatives were killed by the U.S. Army. In 1863, Mangas Coloradas was killed by the U.S. Army when he attempted to sue for peace. The army took him into custody, and he was killed that night. The murder and mutilation of Mangas' body only increased the hostility between Apaches and the United States, with more or less constant war continuing for nearly another 25 years.
In 1872, the Chiricahua Apache Reservation was established, which only remained open for 4 years. In 1877, all Apaches were concentrated on one reservation and the others were closed. In 1883, the Chiricahua campaigned into Mexico, returning to the reservation the following year.
They finally surrendered in 1886 and were exiled to Florida, Alabama, and Oklahoma. Eventually most were moved to the Fort Sill military reservation in Oklahoma until 1913, when they were allowed to return to what is now Arizona. Many still live in Oklahoma or on the Mescalero reservation in New Mexico. Their last stronghold was the Chiricahua Mountains, in southeastern Arizona, part of which is now inside Chiricahua National Monument.

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