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Flashback to American History


By Brandon Nguyen

Long before Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain and landed on Watling Island in the Bahamas, there was a dynamic and nomadic group inhabiting the plains of America. These independent migrants were known as the Native Americans and only a few still exist in modern day. The culture of the Native Americans pushed across the South and East and eventually formed diverse culture areas each with distinct habitats and characteristics in several regions of the nation. In the Artic region resides the Inuit and Aluet, the northeast regions comprises of Iroquoian and their Algonquian neighbors, whereas the southeast indigenous tribes are known for the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, and Seminole. Moving across America, groups like the Crow, Blackfeet, Comanche, and Cheyenne lurk the plains. However, the people of the southwest contains one of the most resilient and fierce Native Americans, the Apache tribe.
The Apache tribe were the most migrant Native Americans with the exception of the Navajo. As a result, these individuals were skillful in hunting, gathering, and were ruthless in raiding neighbors for their crops and supplies. Their migrant nature was the primary reason for their far less than permanent homes. They lived in iconic tipis and wickiups both of which were easy to construct and were made out of materials like bark and mud. An interesting aspect among the Apache was their weaponry used during warfare and its influence in modern day. The most recognized arsenal of the brute tribe consisted of the bow and arrow, war club, and tomahawk. Each weapon served a different purpose and enabled the Apache tribe to avail in many battles with neighboring tribes. Many of the weapons used by the Apache have been innovated and still prevail in many areas of use such as construction and modern day hunting. For example, the bow and arrow enabled skillful archers to attack from long distance striking their enemies from hidden grounds. A typical bow and arrow was made from mulberry, cedar, or even buffalo sinew. Sinew is used to describe the fibrous tissues of buffalo connecting the muscle to the bone. Today, bow and arrows are popular among archers for target shooting and hunting big game. Moreover, one of the most renowned weapons of the Apache tribe is the tomahawk. Its influence on modern day can be seen by the practical use of an axe. The resourcefulness of the tomahawk engaged Apache warriors in close quarters combat and was also used as a tool. Modern day tomahawks, more commonly known as the axe, is used in construction for various projects and tasks. Aside from the iconic arsenal of the Apache tribe, the tribute of the nomadic Indians is seen today in the U.S. military. The U.S. military has made it a tradition of naming their aircrafts after any Native American tribe or chief. Among the most popular aircrafts is the AH-64 Apache helicopter. The significance of the Apache helicopter is that it resembles the confidence and aggressive spirit similar to that of the southwestern tribe.
Although all Native Americans derive great dignity and personify resilient character, the Apache tribe attributed some of the greatest measures of self-determination in the battlefield. Their adaptive and dexterous abilities are great examples of a community rebounding from economic and political disturbances. Possessing solitude and strong character on and off the battlefield earned them the moniker of being a prevailing nomadic group. Despite encountering with the Spanish colonists and missionaries and having their population nearly exterminated, the Apache tribe still exists today. Currently the federal government recognizes the Apache in three states, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona, however, some are known to be living in the whereabouts of Texas.