Perspective and Point of View of the Fort Sill
Chiricahua-Warm Springs Apache Tribe
By Michael Darrow, Tribal Historian
“There are different viewpoints regarding Geronimo. During his
lifetime, a few of our tribal members were staunch supporters of
Geronimo and a few were staunch opponents, but a vast majority of the
tribe thought little or nothing of him one way or another. Any Apache
chief one could mention was of greater social status than was Geronimo.
There were many of our tribal members who had greater skills at
defending our people, capturing supplies, and outwitting enemies. There
were medicine men much more highly regarded than was Geronimo. In
a tribe consisting of remarkable people, Geronimo was little more than
average. He had a reputation as a talker and for acting before thinking
things through. He was a member of a large and well known family.
All this began to change when white reporters became aware of
Geronimo. Easy name, easy to blame, his reputation in the consciousness
of the white people grew to villain, then to supervillain, then split to also
become hero and role model and began influencing Apache minds also.
The name has become a marketing tool and attention getter. Our identity
to the outside world and increasingly within the tribe now revolves
around the name Geronimo.”
Fort Sill Chiricahua – Warm Springs Apache Tribe
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