From Academic Kids

Chiricahua (also Chiricahua Apaches, Chiricagui, Apaches de Chiricahui, Chiricahues, Chilicague, Chilecagez, Chiricagua) refers to a group of bands of Apache that formerly lived in the general areas of southwestern New Mexico, southeastern Arizona, and in northern Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico (it is not possible to precisely define the exact boundaries of their territory).



Ba-keitz-ogie (Yellow Coyote), scout
Ba-keitz-ogie (Yellow Coyote), scout
Missing image
official seal of Ft. Sill Apache

Led by Goyaałé (a.k.a. Geronimo) and Cochise they were among the last to resist U.S. government control of the southwest. 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.


Missing image
Chiricahua Apaches as they arrived at Carlisle
Missing image
Goyaałé (Geronimo), in native garb

Since the band was much more important than tribe in Chiricahua culture, there is no native word for a Chiricahua tribe in the Chiricahua language.

According to Opler (1941) the Chiricahuas consisted of three bands:

  • Chíhéne or Chííhénee’ 'Red Paint People' (a.k.a. the Eastern Chiricahua, Warm Springs Apache, Gileños, Ojo Caliente Apache, Coppermine Apache, Copper Mine, Mimbreños, Mimbres, Mogollones, Tcihende),
  • Ch’úk’ánéń or Ch’uuk’anén (a.k.a. the Central Chiricahua, Ch’ók’ánéń, Cochise Apache, Chiricahua proper, Chiricaguis, Tcokanene),
  • Ndé’indaaí or Nédnaa’í 'Enemy People' (a.k.a. the Southern Chiricahua, Southern Chiricahua, Chiricahua proper, Pinery Apache, Ne’na’i).

Schroeder (1947) disagrees with Opler and list five bands:

  • Mogollon
  • Copper Mine
  • Mimbres
  • Warm Spring
  • Chiricahua proper

According to the Chiricahua-Warm Springs Fort Sill Apache tribe in Oklahoma there are four bands in Fort Sill:

  • Chíhéne (a.k.a. the Warm Springs band, Chinde (?)),
  • Chukunen (a.k.a. the Chiricahua band, Chokonende),
  • Bidánku (a.k.a. Bidanku, Bedonkohe (?)),
  • Ndéndai (a.k.a. Ndénai, Nednai).

Additionally there is the word Chidikáágu (derived from the Spanish word Chiricahua) which refers to Chiricahuas in general, and the word Indé, which refers to Apaches in general.

Chiricahuas are called Ha’i’ą́há (meaning 'Eastern sunrise") by the White Mountain, Cibecue, and Bylas groups of the Western Apaches.

They are called Hák’ą́yé by the San Carlos group of the Western Apaches.

The Navajos call Chiricahuas Chíshí.


See also: Chiricahua language, Southern Athabaskan languages, Apache.

Missing image
Chiricahua Apache, Hattie Tom


  • Castetter, Edward F.; & Opler, Morris E. (1936). The ethnobiology of the Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache: The use of plants for foods, beverages and narcotics. Ethnobiological studies in the American Southwest, (Vol. 3); Biological series (Vol. 4, No. 5); Bulletin, University of New Mexico, whole, (No. 297). Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.
  • Hoijer, Harry; & Opler, Morris E. (1938). Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache texts. The University of Chicago publications in anthropology; Linguistic series. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (Reprinted 1964 by Chicago: University of Chicago Press; in 1970 by Chicago: University of Chicago Press; & in 1980 under H. Hoijer by New York: AMS Press, ISBN 0-40415783-1).
  • Opler, Morris E. (1933). An analysis of Mescalero and Chiricahua Apache social organization in the light of their systems of relationship. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Chicago.
  • Opler, Morris E. (1935). The concept of supernatural power among the Chiricahua and Mescalero Apaches. American Anthropologist, 37 (1), 65-70.
  • Opler, Morris E. (1936). The kinship systems of the Southern Athabaskan-speaking tribes. American Anthropologist, 38 (4), 620-633.
  • Opler, Morris E. (1937). An outline of Chiricahua Apache social organization. In F. Egan (Ed.), Social anthropology of North American tribes (pp. 171-239). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Opler, Morris E. (1938). A Chiricahua Apache's account of the Geronimo campaign of 1886. New Mexico Historical Review, 13 (4), 360-386.
  • Opler, Morris E. (1941). An Apache life-way: The economic, social, and religious institutions of the Chiricahua Indians. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. (Reprinted in 1962 by Chicago: University of Chicago Press; in 1965 by New York: Cooper Square Publishers; in 1965 by Chicago: University of Chicago Press; & in 1994 by Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, ISBN 0-80328610-4).
  • Opler, Morris E. (1942). The identity of the Apache Mansos. American Anthropologist, 44 (1), 725.
  • Opler, Morris E. (1946). Chiricahua Apache material relating to sorcery. Primitive Man, 19 (3-4), 81-92.
  • Opler, Morris E. (1946). Mountain spirits of the Chiricahua Apache. Masterkey, 20 (4), 125-131.
  • Opler, Morris E. (1947). Notes on Chiricahua Apache culture, I: Supernatural power and the shaman. Primitive Man, 20 (1-2), 1-14.
  • Opler, Morris E. (1983). Chiricahua Apache. In A. Ortiz (Ed.), Southwest (pp. 401-418). Handbook of North American Indians (Vol. 10). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
  • Opler, Morris E.; & French, David H. (1941). Myths and tales of the Chiricahua Apache Indians. Memoirs of the American folk-lore society, (Vol. 37). New York: American Folk-lore Society. (Reprinted in 1969 by New York: Kraus Reprint Co.; in 1970 by New York; in 1976 by Millwood, NY: Kraus Reprint Co.; & in 1994 under M. E. Opler, Morris by Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. ISBN 0-80328602-3).
  • Opler, Morris E.; & Hoijer, Harry. (1940). The raid and war-path language of the Chiricahua Apache. American Anthropologist, 42 (4), 617-634.
  • Schroeder, Albert H. (1974). A study of the Apache Indians: Parts IV and V. Apache Indians (No. 4), American Indian ethnohistory, Indians of the Southwest. New York:



Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools