this topic came up on the threads for the Nde people (Apaches). quite often when reading the accounts of the raids by various Apache leaders - there is mention of a "few Navajo's" who also fought with the group. But these Navajo's do not seem to have names hat are remembered, and no-one knows exactly where they came from - or what happened to them. But perhaps amongst the Navajo people, more is known about their own warriors who chose to go and fight with Nana and Geronimo. Does anyone know more about this?
The following information has come to me from various sources, but mostly from the people themselves, members of the Navajo and Apache tribes. I will do my best to explain why Apaches recruited Navajos in their times of conflict. I hope my explanation is not offensive any Athapaskan people. Most of the information came from elders, and I know that they never preserved their stories, other than passing it down orally. I feel that is my duty to preserve it in writing, as I have seen way too many stories die with the people.
The Athapaskan (Dine, the people) migrated from the North in Alaska, settled in Northern NM, around what is today Farmington, NM area. It is believed that when the Spaniards arrived in the Southwest, the Dine saw them as a real threat and agreed to split themselves in order to survive the inevitable clash. It was said, that when this threat was over,the people will reunite and they will know themselves by their songs. As the groups migrated, they settled in the areas known today as western Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Northern Mexico. These migrating groups were named Apachu, a Zuni word meaning, Enemy. The Apaches that settled in Southern New Mexico, in what is Today Monticello, NM, called themselves Chihine, Red Paint People, after the Red Paint Canyon, found there. They would become known as Ojo Caliente, Warm Springs Apaches, after a warm springs found next to the Red Paint Canyon. Their peaceful living ended when the new wave of new comers, white settles began arriving in search of copper, gold and silver. Once again, the Dine, who became the Inde, (still meaning the people) agreed to subdivide again in order to survive the inevitable clash of cultures. The majority chose to relocate into the deep canyons of the Chiricahua Mountains,thus becoming the Chiricahua Apaches. During times of fighting, Apache leaders like Victorio would recruit (kin) blood relative warriors from places like Mescalero, Alamo Navajo Reservation, in Socorro, NM, a place not far from Ojo Caliente. In the beginning Apaches had what we will call Navajo names, their names changed later into Spanish names, after centuries of contact with the Mexicans. Today some Apaches still carry those Navajo names.
Thank you Second. That was very helpful. I dont know if the names and clans of these Dineh warriors were recorded - or if they are lost forever. It is possible that the Dineh people dont know this information ... but maybe somewhere there is a Dineh historian who knows something. The Dineh warriors - who fought with the Apaches - are mentioned in the book by Jason Betzinez. And he wrote that they were brave fighters.