Storytelling has been a vital and vivid tradition in Apache life. Coyote tales, the creation legend and stories of historic battles with Comanche and Anglo intruders create a colorful mosaic of tribal heritage. Percy Bigmouth, a prominent oral historian of the Mescalero and Lipan Apache tribes, realized in the early twentieth century that the old ways were waning. He wrote in longhand what he had learned from his father, Scout Bigmouth, a prison camp survivor at Fort Sumner and participant in the turbulent Apache Wars. Join author Lynda Sanchez as she brings to light the ancient legends and lore of the Apaches living in the shadow of Mescalero's Sacred Mountain. Seventy-five years in the making, this collection is a loving tribute to a way of life nearly lost to history.
About the Author
Lynda A. Sanchez has called historic Lincoln County, New Mexico, her home for more than four decades. She served in the Peace Corps in South America and participated in archaeological field work in Colorado as well as Sonora, Mexico and Belize. Her books include "Fort Stanton: Legacy of Honor, Tradition of Healing," "Eve Ball: Woman Among Men," "Indeh: An Apache Odyssey" and "Capture the Past for New Mexico's Future." She is a past president of the Lincoln County Historical Society and is the recipient of numerous awards related to writing history and historic preservation work including a "cavalry sword" for work on preserving Fort Stanton and True West's 2007 Best Preservation Project in the Nation award. The Historical Society of New Mexico honored her in 2008 with their prestigious L. Bradford Prince Award. Ms. Sanchez has also been an advocate for our Veterans' Legacy. Mary M. Serna is the director/administrator of the St. Joseph Apache Mission Restoration Project at Mescalero, New Mexico.
Table of Contents
Foreword Mary M. Serna 9
Introduction: Coming Full Circle 13
Part I In the Shadow of the sacred Mountain
1 History and Traditions of the Apache 23
2 The Legacy of Scout Bigmouth (1855-1958) 48
3 Percy Bigmouth's Gifts (1891-1959) 65
4 The Coveted Haven 77
Part II "I Kept It in My Sleeves" (as told by Percy Bigmouth and Eve Ball)
5 The Legend of Creation 95
6 Its Strings Are Made of Rainbows: The Apache Cradleboard Ceremony 101
7 Classic Animal Stories and Antics 109
8 Old Coyote (the Trickster) Tales 117
9 Of Doves and Old Brown Turkey 131
10 Legends of Caves and Bats 138
Part III On the War Trail
11 Of Raiding and War 161
12 Enemy People (Comanches) 166
13 The Return of the Captives 172
14 The Battle of Coyote Mountain: Victory and Bitter Defeat 178
15 Apache Vengeance: Gold, Silver and a Pueblo's Demise 187
16 Conclusion: Crossing Over the Bridge 193
About the Author 207
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Not That Long Ago. After generations of oral history carried exclusively among their own AND in awareness of the rapid extinction of their once fierce and loving culture, Percy Bigmouth and other Apache elders shared Apache tales with certain "white eyes" who showed respectful interest. In today's world of air conditioned cars and interstate highways, wireless communications and the Internet, it is startling to recall that only 150 years ago the Apaches made a living in the captivatingly beautiful and ruggedly hostile Southwest as hunter/gatherers (and raiders and warriors). Through her love of history and narrative skills, Lynda Sanchez provides the historical context to hear afresh these ancient folk tales and legends which until recently were known only to a privileged few.
Recorded iterviews with Apache leaders Scout Bigmouth and his son Percy Bigmouth are effectiveliy used by author Lynda Sanchez. By including the original (and unedited) writings of Percy Bigmouth, the reader is provided a first hand glimpse into the daily lives of the Apaches and establishes accuracy and authenticity An extensive Bibliography verifies efforts to provide and preserve the culture and ancient legends of the Apache tribe.