Chiricahua


Chiricahua
/chir'i kah"weuh/, n., pl. Chiricahuas, (esp. collectively) Chiricahua for 1.
1. a member of an Apache Indian group, formerly located in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico, now living primarily in Oklahoma and New Mexico.
2. the Athabaskan language of the Chiricahua, differing only dialectically from Navaho.

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people
 one of several divisions within the Apache tribe of North American Indians. At the time of Spanish colonial contact, the Chiricahua lived in what are now the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Originally a nomadic people, they faced severe pressures from settlers and an expansionist U.S. government in the second half of the 19th century. As a result, they were forced onto reservations and other restricted sites—first on the Arizona–New Mexico border, then in Florida and Alabama, and finally in Oklahoma and south-central New Mexico.

      Traditionally, the Chiricahua were divided into three to five bands; these in turn were divided into local groups of 10 to 30 extended families, each occupying individual territories. The Chiricahua economy depended upon hunting deer and other animals and gathering wild plant foods; like many other hunting and gathering peoples, the Chiricahua moved camp frequently in order to avoid exhausting these food sources. The band, with its chief, was the socially cohesive group, and no central tribal organization existed. This form of social organization was common to equestrian nomads in North America; such leaders as Cochise and Geronimo, famous for their resistance to U.S. domination, were local Chiricahua chiefs.

      Numbering perhaps 2,500 persons at the time of first contact with the Spanish, population estimates indicated more than 2,000 individuals of Chiricahua descent in the early 21st century.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • chiricahua — ˌchirə̇ˈkäwə noun (plural chiricahua or chiricahuas) Usage: usually capitalized Etymology: modification of Spanish chiricahue, from Apache, literally, great mountain; from their former residence around the Chiricahua mountains in southeastern… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Chiricahua — noun (plural Chiricahua or Chiricahuas) Etymology: Chiricahua Mountains, southeast Arizona Date: 1885 a member of an Apache people of Arizona …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Chiricahua — noun a) A Native American tribe. b) The Apache language these people speak …   Wiktionary

  • Chiricahua — n. band of Apache Indians who inhabited the southwest of the United States and were led by Geronimo; member of this people …   English contemporary dictionary


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