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The Jicarilla Apache Tribe: A History

Jicarilla Indian Tribe: A History amzn bn

This evenhanded history of the Jicarilla Apache tribe of New Mexico highlights their long history of cultural adaptation and change–both to new environments and cultural traits. Concentrating on the modern era, 1846-1970, Veronica Tiller, herself a Jicarilla Apache, tells of the tribe’s economic adaptations and relations with the United States government.

Originally published in 1983, this revised edition updates the account of the Jicarilla experience, documenting the significant economic, political, and cultural changes that have occurred as the tribe has exercised ever greater autonomy in recent years.

Chief James Garfield Velarde wearing presidential peace medal." Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives.

“Chief James Garfield Velarde wearing presidential peace medal.” Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives.

"Jicarilla Apache Chiefs at Corcoran Gallery, Wash. D.C. 1880" Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives.

“Jicarilla Apache Chiefs at Corcoran Gallery, Wash. D.C. 1880”
Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives.

"Jicarilla Basketmakers at St. Louis World's Fair, 1904." Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives.

“Jicarilla Basketmakers at St. Louis World’s Fair, 1904.” Smithsonian Institution, National Anthropological Archives.

 

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Reviews

When this book was first published in 1983, the reviewers wrote: ”Indian tribal histories are among the most challenging projects to undertake….Veronica Tiller, however, in narrating a history of her tribe, the Jicarilla Apaches, concentrating on the modern era, 1846-1970, has been completely successful. After summarizing the early period, the author, in a vivid, well-documented narrative, has given an excellent portrait of her people in their relations with other tribes and in their long history of peace and war with the United States
-Wilbur R. Jacobs, New Mexico Historical Review

“It is unusual for find a history of a tribe that provides an evenhanded account of the relations between the Indian people and the United States federal government. Veronica Tiller’s history of the Jicarilla Apaches is such a book. It lives up to the expectations for a good history, as well as to the promises of what an Indian author can do with the history of her own tribe.” -Western Historical Quarterly

“A fine addition to the growing number of currently available tribal histories.”
-American Indian Quarterly.

“A welcome addition to our record of Native Americans.”
-American Indian Culture and Research Journal

This is the best history yet of the Jicarilla Apache, an interesting people who once were the scourge of the Santa Fe Trail. This was quite an accomplishment considering the tribe numbered less than 800 members. The book is easy to read and covers their history from earliest known times up to the present. The tribe’s power was broken in the 1850s by Kit Carson. The next 30 years were occupied in finding the tribe a reservation as they wandered and were sent from place to place in search of some place they’d be allowed to stay. Shuffled off to wasteland the tribe has time and again turned up wealth first in timbers, then cattle, then oil, gas and uranium leases and almost as regularly up to the 1960s had the wealth stolen from them by unscrupulous Indian agents and government incompetence. The author is not always well documented presenting new evidence without a source and is clearly biased in favor of Ollero Jicarillas.
Review by D. Hocking

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Tiller Research, Inc. 6565 Americas Parkway, Suite 227, Albuquerque, NM 87110
Phone: 505-328-9772 Fax: 505-563-5501 Email: vtiller99@comcast.net
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