Geronimo


Geronimo\'s grandfather, Maco, had been the chief of the Nedni Apaches.
He had been of great size and strength. When Maco had been chief his principle
wars had been against the Mexicans. They were seldom at great length of peace
with the Mexicans. When Maco\'s son (Geronimo\'s Dad) became a warrior, Maco died.
Geronimo\'s father could not become the chief of the Nedni\'s, because he married
a woman from the Bedonkohe Apaches. The two had 8 children- four boys and four
girls, including Geronimo. The possibility that one of the boys would become
chief of he Bedonkohe was very slim. His mother taught him the legends of his
people; taught him the sun and sky, the moon and stars, the clouds and storms.
She also taught him to kneel and pray to Usen fir strength, health, wisdom, and
protection. When the children were young they would play with each other and
sometimes with their mother and father. When they were grown up enough to do
real services they went to the field with their parents: not to play, but to
toil. They did not cultivate tobacco, but they found it in the wild. All of
Geronimo\'s tribe smoked, both men and woman. No boy was allowed to smoke until
he could hunt alone and kill large game such as; wolves, bear, deer, etc.
Geronimo\'s father died when Geronimo was at a young age. They wrapped his
father in his finest clothes, painted his face, wrapped a rich blanket around
him, saddled his favorite horse, bore his arms in front of him, and led his
horse behind, repeating in wailing tones his deeds of valor as they carried his
body to a cave in the mountain. They then slew his horses and gave way all his
property, as was customary in our tribe, after which his body was deposited in
the cave, his arms beside him. Geronimo\'s mother never married again, which
was not a custom to the Bedonkohe Apache. In 1846, when Geronimo was 17 years
of age, he was admitted to the council of warriors. If a war had started
between tribes he could go on the warpath with his tribe. Geronimo had long
desired to fight with his warriors. What he was the happiest about was that he
could marry Alope, the daughter of No-po-so. The two had been with each other
along time before. So when he got the news that he was in the council of
warriors, Geronimo went straight to No-po-so concerning their marriage. No-po-
so asked for many ponies in exchange for Alope. Geronimo made no reply, but in
a few days Geronimo appeared at No-po-so\'s wig-wam with the herd of ponies, and
took Alope with him. That was all the marriage ceremony needed in his tribe.
Geronimo built a teepee, not far from his mother\'s, made of buffalo hides.
They followed the traditions and had three children. When Geronimo was
29,(1858) him and almost all the other warriors left to go trade with a Mexican
town, Kas-ki-yeh. When the warriors were heading back a few women and children
met and told the warriors killed the warriors that were guarding there camp,
destroyed their supplies, captured all of their ponies, and killed many of the
woman and children. They quickly separated, concealed themselves as best they
could until nightfall, they then assembled at their appointed place of
rendezvous- a thicket by the river. Silently they went in one by one: sentinels
were placed, and, when all were counted he found his old mother, young spouse,
and three children slain. Without being noticed, he silently turned and stood
by the river. When the warriors were arranging he took his place. With only 80
warriors left, without arms or supplies, and in the center of Mexican territory,
the chief, Magnus-Colarado gave the order to start at once to their homes in
Arizona. For 2 days and 3 nights they stopped only for meals. They then made a
camp near the Mexican border, where they rested for two days. Geronimo talked
to other warriors who had lost something in the massacre, but none had lost as
he had , for he had lost all. When they arrived in Arizona he burnt everything
Alope had made, the children\'s toys, and the teepee.
The warriors of his tribe were all willing to wage war against the
Mexicans. Geronimo was appointed to solicit the aid of other tribes in the war.
When he went to the Cohkonen (Chiricahua) Apaches, Cochise, their chief, called
a council at early dawn. While the warriors