As I promised to put some more info on Negoyani, known to the US army as Juan Gómez, it is worth to mention the letter send by lieutenant colonel D.S. Miles to major W.A. Nichols on 18 February 1858. It is one of the last mention of the famous Mescalero nantan. The letter goes:
MAJOR: I have the gratification to repeat that so far the Mezcalaric Apaches have not made an attack on the people of Mesilla, as apprehended. They, on the 15th instant, came into Dofia Ana about one hundred strong, fully intent on attacking Mesilla; fortunately Doctor Steck was present, who told them if they did I would attack them and carry the war into their country; that they must wait and abide the decision of the United States court, 820. After this they retired and said they would return to Fort Stanton and remain quietly there. Docter Steck informed me that the chief, Gomez, told him the Mesilla volunteers killed the celebrated marauder Shaw-o-na, when they attacked the Mezcalaric camp. I am, major, respectfully, your obedient servant, D. S. MILES
The letter relates on an attack by a volunteer Mexican troop called Mesilla Guard on a Mescalero grup. They surprised a mescalero rancheria killing men, women and children. One of the killed was the chief of this group - Shawono or Shawano.
Last Edit: Sept 6, 2019 7:46:23 GMT -5 by ouroboros
This is in response to previous messages, specifically to this forum's member "Ouroboros".....
My Uncle has informed me that he has not received a message from you through Facebook. At this time, we encourage you to take some time to make observations based on all the research you have collected. Storytelling is important to our Apache traditions because it is one of the principle ways our people preserve our history. We highly respect and honor this form of communication. The story of our great grandfather, Negoyani, is one that has been preserved and told over generations.
One of the sources that was used to answer the question whether Negoyani was Mexican or of Apache descent stated he was, "kidnapped as a baby and had received education in Mexico." As you yourself stated, these rumors.....are simply rumors. Statements that are not based on factual evidence. Consider this: Chief Gomez' real name was Negoyani, which means "Old Man of Wisdom." It is very likely that Mexican soldiers gave Negoyani the name, Juan Gomez. Religious influence had much to do with the assigning of Spanish names to the Apache people. Mexican soldiers often called Apaches by Catholic Saints they were familiar with, sometimes out of fear during battle or due to mispronunciations of their names. For example, Geronimo, whose real name is "Goyahkla" which means, "One Who Yawns", was given to him by Mexicans possibly after the Catholic Saint Jerome. It is noted that Geronimo as well as other Apaches learned how to speak Spanish very well in order to communicate with the Mexican people.
Mexican and American people were in conflict with our with Native people over land that belonged to them. Masses of people were killed from each side. It is not logical to conclude that a kidnapped Mexican child would quickly hold such a rank as a Mescalero Apache Chief in such a short period of time. Negoyani was between the ages of 30 to 35 years old when he began his raiding party into Mexico. If Geronimo, was never recognized as a Chief but only as a warrior....how would a kidnapped Mexican child who was said to have been educated in Mexico be allowed such a title of an Apache Tribal Chief?
Long before Mexicans and Americans occupied this land, thousands of other tribes, including the Apache, were in possession of Canada, United States, and Mexico. "36 federally recognized tribes – including the Kumeyaay, Pai, Cocopah, O’odham, Yaqui, Apache and Kickapoo peoples – were split in two by the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the 1853 Gadsden Purchase. Today, tens of thousands of people belonging to the U.S. Native tribes still live in the Mexican states of Baja California, Sonora, Coahuila and Chihuahua." So whether our Apache people are born on United States soil or on Mexican soil, one fact will stand regardless of the political climate that attempts to dictate otherwise: WE ALL ARE APACHE. Our ancestors are Indigenous on both sides of the Border. A distinction in nationality holds no credentials or validation with our people. A wall or border built between the two countries remains invisible and we continue united as one people. Negoyani's origin along with his contemporaries were in existence long before the concepts of "American" and "Mexican" came into the picture. So, no, Negoyani was not Mexican...he was Apache.
The genocide that took place during Negoyani's lifetime and after has left some of his descendants, including me, fighting to reclaim our identity. In the effort to wipe Native people off from their own land, many were abused, imprisoned, taken away from their families....and even worst, killed. American governments aimed to "civilize" Indians by adopting the, "Kill the Indian, Save the man" ideology. Through out the United States, the government established Indian boarding schools and forced thousands of Indians to assimilate into the "American ways". Children were separated from their parents and were moved thousands miles away to increase their chances of adopting these ideas. These changes included the cutting of their long hair, not being able to speak their Native languages, and not being able to practice their culture or traditions.
Negoyani's descendants were among those who were forced to assimilate here in the United States and in Mexico, where many were also being killed (as was mentioned before, Governor Trias, along with other Mexican and American authorities, placed scalping bounties on both sides of the border). As a result, many of his descendants picked up farming and ranching, relocating and settling in parts of West and South Texas as well as Northern Mexico after Negoyani's death. They never settled on or were taken to any of the Indian reservations like many of the other Apache people did.
Negoyani was unjustly labeled a "terrorist" when all he tried to do was protect his family, his people, and his land. Though it may seem that the memory and spirit of Negoyani has been extinguished, it is alive now more than ever. With the help of our Uncle and our other Indigenous family, we are healing from the effects of colonialism and are freeing ourselves from the domination that these powers have tried to impose on us and many other Indigenous people. We are and will always remain.... RESILIENT.
Many thanks Aileen1 for your message. Please send my best regards to your uncle mr Gregory G. Gomez and my personal thanks for his statement claryfying Negoyani's Nde descent.
It is possible your uncle did not receive my message because facebook sometimes does not deliver messages send by people who are not listed as friends of the particular person.
Could you ask your uncle about three questions which interest me much:
1) When and where did Negoyani die? It was a rumour that after 1858 he settled down in Mexico. 2) Did american scalphunters really kill Negoyani's father? 3) How many children did Negoyani have? I know of two - Verancia (Venancio) and Margarito.
I am a great aficionado of Nde history and culture and admire the Nde nation.
With all best wishes, Ouroboros
Last Edit: Nov 1, 2019 1:40:14 GMT -5 by ouroboros
As for the spanish/mexican naming of Apache chiefs, there is an interesting opinion in the book "Nómadas y Sedentarios en el Norte de México: Homenaje a Beatriz Braniff", p. 253:
Personal names, of course, if used judiciously, may be of some help in giving insights into the solution of such problems. As noted, many nicknames were employed, often descriptive or reffering to some personal characteristics, or to an event or location – El Tuerto ("one-eyed"), El Tartamudo ("stutter"), El Fiscal, Ceja Blanca ("white eyebrow"), Zurron de Venado ("deerskin hag"), El Ratón ("mouse"), Mangas Coloradas ("red sleeve").
Interesting information on Apache names. It should be noted that many of the non-hispanic nicknames of Nde nantans are in fact from the language of the Opatas. The Opatas - fierce warriors - were one of the main enemies of the Nde in Mexico.
As for Gómez. An info, unfortunately in Spanish:
Igualmente, se sabíaque siete extranjeros capitaneados por el inglés Santiago Bosque recibieron de los gilenos 200 mulas en ei rio Mimbre a trueque por póivora. Que en el punto de Boca Nueva unos carreteros reocncieron a Gómez y a Chepito que: ... al aproximarse dejaron sus armas yestuvieron hablando con uno de los carreteros al cual le dijeron quesu partida se componia de cosa de dosciendos apaches y que aquellaremonta la habían quitadoa los comanches lo que no es de creerse ni por un momento
Quoted after: Victor Orozco, Las guerras indias en la historia de Chihuahua: primeras fases, p. 76.
Last Edit: Dec 1, 2019 5:14:54 GMT -5 by ouroboros
There was a skirmish in February 1859 between US troops nad Mescaleros - who were possibly led by Chief Gómez. Let me quote William S. Kiser's, Dragoons in Apacheland:
"In perhaps the most desperate encounter of this late-antebellum era, men belonging to Company D, Regiment of Mounted Rifled skirmished with Mescaleros camped in Dog Canyon in February 1859. In the ensuing fight three soldiers were killed and seven others wounded, including the commanding officer, Lieutenent Henry M. Lazelle of the Eighth Infantry, who suffered an excruciating gunshot wound through both lungs but survived. The Indians suffered nine killed and an unknow number wounded. When news of the battle reached Fort Fillmore, a detachment of riflemen under Captain Thomas Claiborne rode to the aid of Lazelle's command. The officers accused Chief Gomez of leading the attack, although the charge could not be proven. Not long afterwards, Gomez appeared at Fort Thorn to collect the regularly alloted rations for his band and, when questioned about the incident, "denied emphatically" any involvement".
Last Edit: Dec 9, 2019 12:00:14 GMT -5 by ouroboros