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Life Among the Apaches de John C Cremony
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Life Among the Apaches (1868 original; edició 1991)

de John C Cremony (Autor)

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John C. Cremony's first encounter with the Indians of the Southwest occurred in the early 1850s, when he accompanied John R. Bartlett's boundary commission surveying the United States-Mexican border. Some ten years later, as an officer of the California Volunteers, he renewed his acquaintance, particularly with the Apaches, whom he came to know as few white Americans before him had. Cremony's account of his experiences, published in 1868, quickly became, and remains today, a basic source on Apache beliefs, tribal life, and fighting tactics. Although its original purpose was to induce more effective military suppression of the Apaches, it has all the fast-paced action and excitement of a novel and the authenticity of an ethnographic and historical document.… (més)
Membre:TrumanBerry
Títol:Life Among the Apaches
Autors:John C Cremony (Autor)
Informació:Dorset House Publishing Co Inc (1991), Edition: New edition, 336 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
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Etiquetes:No n'hi ha cap

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Life Among the Apaches de John C. Cremony (1868)

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Life Among the Apaches is a first person account of two expeditions made by John Cremony into the territory in and around what is now Arizona and New Mexico in the early 1850's with the U.S. Boundary Commission (U.S. - Mexican border), and in the early 1860's with the California Volunteers (Union Army). He did not live with Apaches but was the first white man to learn the Apache language and talked with them a great deal on matters both friendly and hostile. He claims to relate only what he saw and heard himself and occasionally from reliable witnesses. What he tells concerning the character and behavior of the Apaches and neighboring tribes appears truthful, although it is difficult to guess whether his part in some armed conflicts may be embellished.

For anyone who cannot understand why frontier settlers could not get along with Native Americans, at least ones similar to the Apaches, this account will stand in perfect explanation. Their ethos was uninformed by anything of our western tradition, and they were fully as resistant to change as are white men. Cremony did at last discover that the Apaches had a sense of right and wrong but were usually well satisfied (or forced by their extreme living circumstances and attendant habits and culture) to ignore the difference in favor of practical results. They never bragged about themselves but had to be enticed roundabout into describing their skills and exploits. They detected braggadocio immediately and forever disdained the white boaster. They shared freely any prize gained in company of their companions but were selfish with private acquisitions.

The Apaches, like many tribes in the region, were not a cohesive group as a whole but rather comprised several adjacent independent smaller bands with the same language and customs. The bands occasionally combined for large raids or defense. Adjacent tribes were as often at odds as at peace. The Apaches had no chiefs but were perfectly democratic.

This account affirms that these people were equally as smart as and often more resourceful than white men, attributes which Cremony greatly admired but to strangers made them cunning rascals. They were trained from infancy to regard other peoples as enemies and taught that the chief excellence, ahead even of bravery, is to outwit an enemy, and deceit was regarded with high admiration. They were indifferent to, or sometimes enjoyed, the suffering of others. Their women were treated little better than slaves, and as such likely contributed as much by their endless work in camp to the economic support of their group as did the hunting and raiding of the men. Except in preparation of weapons, the men were fiercely resistant to any work that could not contribute directly to their immediate purposes.

In the poor land they occupied, it was more sensible to steal and plunder than to produce value otherwise, so the men became expert thieves and robbers and were admired by their band in proportion to their success. They were amazingly expert in long-distance communication by sign and signal and at desert camouflage(!), hunting, and tracking. They always had an eye on visitors, who rarely were aware of their presence. They wore loincloths but appeared indifferent to freezing, even sub-zero (F), temperatures. It is quite remarkable that a relatively small number of Apaches was able to control such a huge area for such a long time.

Cremony criticized the actions of the government towards Native Americans as inept and wasteful but concluded that Native American depredations could be overcome only with sudden and overwhelming force in many parts of the country at the same time and occupying those places.

The writing is interesting, straightforward and clear but not expert.

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John C. Cremony's first encounter with the Indians of the Southwest occurred in the early 1850s, when he accompanied John R. Bartlett's boundary commission surveying the United States-Mexican border. Some ten years later, as an officer of the California Volunteers, he renewed his acquaintance, particularly with the Apaches, whom he came to know as few white Americans before him had. Cremony's account of his experiences, published in 1868, quickly became, and remains today, a basic source on Apache beliefs, tribal life, and fighting tactics. Although its original purpose was to induce more effective military suppression of the Apaches, it has all the fast-paced action and excitement of a novel and the authenticity of an ethnographic and historical document.

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