Manataka™ American Indian Council
Lipan Apache Tribe
Lipan Apache Chief
Apache Encampment in the
Texas Hill Country by George Nelson. The Lipan Apache were among
several Plains tribes pushed southward as pressure for land and
resources mounted across the western frontier. Image courtesy of the
artist and the Institute of Texan Cultures, University of Texas at
Opler, Morris E. (1940). Myths and legends of the Lipan Apache Indians. Memoirs of the American Folk-Lore Society (Vol. 36). New York: J. J. Augustin.
TIMELINE 1600 − 1900
|ca. 1600−||Lipan Apaches enter Texas from Great Plains; claim area around San Antonio as homeland and call it “Many Houses;” Lipans develop a tribal identity−Lipan means “Light Gray People.”|
|ca. 1650−||Lipans develop a trade route to the Pecos Pueblo by following Rio Grande upriver to the Pecos. Lipans call Pecos Pueblo “White House.”|
|ca. 1670−||In response to severe drought, Lipan tribe splits into 2 divisions: Plains Lipans (who move into upper Colorado River region) & Forest Lipans (who return to San Antonio area). Plains Lipans acquire horses from Jumanos and pueblos of New Mexico. Forest Lipans acquire horses from pueblo of La Junta (Presidio, TX).|
|1674−||Mission San Ildefonso de la Paz founded on Rio Escondido of Coahuila near later site of villa of Zaragosa. San Ildefonso soon abandoned.|
|1700−||Comanches enter Texas and begin to contest the Plains Lipans for control of the high plains of Texas.|
|1703−||Mission San Francisco Solano revived on site of older San Ildefonso mission (Coahuila).|
|1708−||San Francisco Solano moved to the Rio Grande.|
|1716−||Presidio San Antonio de Béxar and small church founded at San Pedro Springs (Texas) but both burn down within 2 years.|
|May 1718−||Béxar presidio moved to a site west of the San Antonio River. The Solano mission on the Rio Grande is dismantled and moved to the San Antonio River; renamed Mission San Antonio de Valero.|
|1715−1720||Comanches and Lipans fight epic 9-day battle in Red River Basin. Lipan corpses are “left in piles like leaves.”|
|1720−1725||Lipans begin sporadic raids against San Antonio; horse thefts escalate- up to ¼ of presidio’s saddle horse herd stolen at one time. Presidio troops begin retaliatory military campaigns. Nicholas Flores y Valdez follows Lipan horse thieves to Brazos River, attacks a ranchería, captures Lipan prisoners and recovering horses.|
|1726−1730||All quiet at San Antonio; no raids.|
|1730−||56 Canary Island settlers arrive at San Antonio; are offered land west of presidio but deem area too exposed to Lipan raids. Settle between presidio and mission. Found villa of San Fernando de Béxar.|
|1730−||Lipan Apaches declare war on San Antonio; attacks escalate on anyone who ventures out of villa.|
|1731−||On Sept. 18th, over 500 Lipan warriors ambush and attack 20 Spanish troops. Just when Spaniards think the end is near, Lipans break off attack.|
|1745−||On the night of June 30th, over 300 Lipans attack the Béxar presidio, setting fire to many buildings; when soldiers fire guns, Lipans break off and run down side streets seeking to attack from another direction; the Apache attackers are run off by a large body of mission Indians.|
|1749−||The Lipan Apaches and Spanish at San Antonio celebrate a grand peace; Apache hostages are released and a large pit dug in Military Plaza. A live horse, war club, arrows and lance are placed in the pit and covered with dirt to signify the end of a state of warfare.|
|1750−||Smallpox breaks out in Lipan camps along Guadalupe River. Lipans are convinced that epidemic was caused by mission clothing worn by newly-released hostages. Lipans move their camps to upper Nueces River. Lipans establish stolen- horses-for-guns trade with east Texas tribes.|
|1751−||A large group of Lipan traditionalists who wish no contact with Spanish other than raiding, and led by Bigotes (Whiskers or Mustached One), break away and cross the Rio Grande into Coahuila. This break-away group calls itself Kuné tsa (Big Water People) and camps along Rio Escondido and Rio San Rodrigo (Coahuila).|
|1753−||On Feb. 1st, villa of San Fernando de Austria is founded on Rio Escondido (Coahuila); first settlers come from families of San Juan Bautista|
|1754−||First mission dedicated to converting the Lipan is founded at the site of the old mission of San Ildefonso (Rio Escondido, Coahuila) on Dec. 21st. Mission San Lorenzo lasts one year; during night of Oct. 4, 1755, Lipans revolt, burn mission and ride away.|
|1757−||Second Lipan mission established on San Saba River of Texas near Menard. Mission San Sabá is burned down in 1758 during an attack by Comanches and Wichitas.|
|1761−||Third Lipan mission is founded on upper Nueces near Camp Wood, Texas- San Lorenzo de la Santa Cruz. A second small mission is founded several miles south near Montell, Texas- Nuestra Señora de la Candelaría; both missions abandoned by Lipans within 4 years.|
|1763−||In March, Lipans attack villa of San Fernando de Austria (Coahuila), entering town by a ruse; 7 settlers killed, 40 horses stolen.|
|1780−||Terrible smallpox epidemic ravages Lipan camps in Texas and then spreads to camps in Coahuila. so many Lipans die that priests a la Bahía fear the numerous corpses will cause other disease. Lipan shamans, seeking an herbal cure for small- pox, adapt the use of peyote from Carrizo Indians.|
|1760−1800||Lipan Apaches raid intensely in south Texas, Coahuila and Nuevo Leon. A series of military campaigns fail to “tame” them until 1800.|
|1814−||Lipan Apaches fight along side rebels fighting for Mexican independence at Battle of Medina.|
|1827−||Villa of San Fernando de Austria changes name to San Francisco de Rosas.|
|1836−||Lipans watch Battle of Alamo unfold and want to assist Alamo defenders. Lipan proposed aid is based on friendship with Hispanic Tejano defenders, not on ties with Bowie and Travis, and dates back to Royalist-Republican battles of 1814, particularly the Battle of Medina.|
|1840−1880−||Lipans from both sides of Rio Grande raid in Texas and drive stolen stock into Mexico to sell in border towns.|
|1850−||Villa of San Fernando de Rosas changes name to Zaragosa (Coahuila).|
|1850−||Zaragosa “adopts” the Lipan Apaches, offering them a settlement area at Hacienda Patiño. Villa of Musquiz (Coahuila) “adopts” Kickapoo, who had crossed into Mexico ca. 1850. Lipans and Kickapoo begin to fight each other in Coahuila.|
|1850−||Smallpox epidemic in Texas drives many Texas Lipans into Mexico or New Mexico.|
|1869−||Mexican troops from Monterrey brought to Zaragosa to eliminate Lipan Apaches, who are blamed for causing trouble. Troops attack many Lipan camps; survivors flee to the Mescaleros in New Mexico.|
|1873−||US Army commander Ranald Mackenzie crosses Rio Grande with his troops and attacks Lipan camps at El Remolino (Coahuila).|
|1872−1875||US Army in New Mexico begins to force Mescalero Apaches and some Lipan Apaches onto a reservation in New Mexico.|
|1875−1876||US Army troops undertake joint military campaigns with Mexican Army to eliminate Lipans from Coahuila.|
|1881−||Large campaign by Mexican Army’s Diaz division (assisted by US troops) runs all Lipans out of Coahuila and into Chihuahua State.|
|1884−||A small number of Texas Lipans are transferred to a reservation in Oklahoma (Oakland Agency).|
|1903−||About 30 Lipans are redeemed from a cattle pen in Chihuahua City, Chihuahua (where they were held as prisoners). This group is brought to New Mexico.|
The Tribal Shield
This Tribal Shield heralds all that is Lipan, all that was Lipan, and all that will be Lipan and all these Truths reside with in the Sacred Hoop of Life.
Fourteen bones each engraved with an arrow, separated by four colored beads form a circle. Our Ancestors are represented by the bones.
Mountains, river, sky, desert, plants and a buffalo with calf are with in the confines of this circle.
Four Eagle feathers are carefully wrapped and hang in quiet eloquence from this Circle of Life.
To our Grandmothers and Grandfathers we owe honor and reverence.
Arranged in a ring, this speaks to the Circle of Life.
Fourteen arrows signify fourteen bands and the arrows track in a circular motion from East to West, a pathway Sacred to our People.
The beads that unite our Ancestors and clans together are painted in the colors of the East (black), the West (Yellow), the South (Blue), and the North (White). The pattern is of life and blessing prayers with smoke.
The People of the Forest and the People of the Plains, all of the Nde are seen as one family under the Great Sky of blue. Nopalito and Yucca plants reveal how the land gives life as food, medicine, and provides for gifts of shelter and daily needs.
At the very center of all is the Buffalo, for he represents the hunt and the knowledge that Creator will provide for His People. Standing within the Buffalo is a white and pure calf, a symbol of rebirth and strength of a new generation. Here is the promise to teach the children of the old ways, to preserve the traditions, language, and culture of all that is Lipan Apache.
In prayers to the Creator for all that has past, all that is, and all that will be are four Eagle feathers. The ties that unite the Feathers to the Sacred Hoop of Life are red for the blood of the People and are wrapped in sinew four times, as the number four is a metaphor that names the Lipan Apache. The Feathers are the gift of Creator for prayer and through His Will; the Lipan Apache People will endure. And having been prepared, the Lipan Apache will walk in Beauty.
The Chairman's Corner
Bernard F. Barcena Jr.
First I must apologize for having been quiet for so long, but this is my way. My silence does not mean that the Council and I have not been hard at work. As a Nation we must build a strong foundation upon which to grow and now is the time to share all of the good things that are now upon us.
Our intent is to address the issues that will craft the framework that will bring us together as one, and proclaim to the outside world that we, the Lipan Apache, are here; that we have always been here, and that we will always be here. There are four points that we as a serious people must speak to as we move forward with the acknowledgement process. These four corners are genealogy, history, participating in the political process, and public awareness.
First of these four is genealogy. We are fortunate to have Kathy Harmon as the Tribal Genealogist. Kathy is Cherokee and learned her craft at the genealogy center for the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah. She is a very educated and accomplished individual. It is very important that we have a credible and independently verified Tribal census.
Membership is based on verifiable facts and supported to some degree by oral history. Some have failed to make the threshold for enrollment - this does not mean you are not Lipan Apache; it means we have more work to do in building our archives and research center so that we may bring those folks into the Tribe. Our Homeland Administrator, Tom Castillo, has an article on the website describing how approved applicants can get their Tribal ID cards and Certificates. Many thanks to Tom and his family on this effort.
Second up is history. Our Tribal historian, Nancy Minor, is a well respected and published author on Lipan Apache history. This particular part of four is one of the most paper-intensive and factual aspects to our agenda for acknowledgement. Our research center will have a great deal of this information for Lipans to come and review.
Third is participating in the political process. We have made many inroads on this item and we will announce these details as soon as we can. What I can say is that from the Federal level on down to State and Local, we have made many friends who are helping. May Creator bless these many people for their good and honest hearts.
Fourth is public awareness. Ninety-nine percent of Texans have no idea who the Lipan Apache are, and the few that do know about us believe we are but a footnote in past history. We will be opening a Tribal Museum and Cultural Center in Sunrise Mall in Corpus Christi on October 11, 2008.
Our Museum/Cultural Center will tell our story from the day of Creation to the present time. There is so much to share and I ask that anyone who wishes to contribute stories or artifacts, please contact me so I can forward the information to the Museum committee.
The Cultural Center component of this project will serve as a research facility and a place to gather to hear Elders speak, such as Gilbert Tellez, and other special guests. Again, I ask for your thoughts and ideas on this project because this is about you, the Lipan Apache Nation, and now is the time for you to speak.
We will also have a Tribal store where flags, T-shirts, coffee mugs and other such memorabilia with the Tribal Shield can be purchased. The Tribal store is how we plan to fund this project, so please enjoy your time shopping. All of these items will also be on the website.
Our intent is to move our Nation forward in a good way.
General Council Chairman
State Recognition of The Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas
March 18, 2009
Representatives, members, and
supporters of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas entered and
assembled at 8:00 am. At 9:30 am, they were escorted to the
gallery of the Texas House of Representatives. The House came to
session at 10:00 am. At approximately 10:26 am, House of
HR 812 bill, recognizing the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas,
was introduced by Representative Todd Hunter, Republican State
Representative from District 32.
Bill HR 812 is a resolution to acknowledge the Lipan Apache
Tribe of Texas as a recognized Native American tribe. The 150 to
200 Lipan Apache and supporters gathered in the gallery cheered.
Representative Hunter escorted the tribe’s representatives to the Senate where they came under the chair of Senator Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, Democratic State Senator from District 20. Members of the tribe assembled in the upper gallery. On the floor, Senator Hinojosa recognized and introduced to the Senate representatives of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas Chairman Bernard F. Barcena, Vice-Chairman Robert Soto, Treasurer Juan Soliz, Clerk of the Nation Alma Cruz, and Tribal Administrator William Larew. Senator Hinojosa introduced State Senate Resolution 438 at 11:15 am. The senate unanimously adopted Resolution 438 to the thunderous applause from those present. Each and every senator shook hands with the tribe’s representatives. Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst also congratulated the tribe’s representatives and the gathered tribe on the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas recognition.
Immediately following, the tribe assembled in the Capitol Rotunda to celebrate in song and dance. The South Texas Indian Dancers along with the Huisache Creek Singers led by Ruben Soto sang an Honor song in honor of our veterans and our ancestors who desired to see this day, but died never seeing this unforgettable day. Following the honor song, three victory songs were performed by the South Texas Indian Dancers and other members of the Lipan Apache Tribe. Special thanks to Teresa Velasquez and her family who came to represent the Chickasaw tribe and also joined the celebration in dance. Afterwards, the group moved to the exterior of the building on the east side where Robert Soto performed a hoop dance in gratitude and thanksgiving for the special occasion.
Chairman Barcena and William Larew presented to Representative Hunter, Senator Hinojosa, and Bobby Gonzalez a special tribal proclamation and gifts of tobacco and sage provided by Tom Castillo, Homeland Administrator of the Tribe. The proclamation was well received by the honored guests.
In the House of Representatives, thanks to Chief of Staff Bech Bruun and Administrative Assistant Caleb McGee who were helpful in working with Senator Hinojosa’s office to pass the resolution in the middle of a very busy session. In the State Senator’s office, thanks to Legislative Aide Carlos Gutierrez, and Legislative Assistant Oscar Garza. Thank you to Judge Bobby Gonzalez who has been working hard the last year and a half to see this day come to pass. Special thanks to Our Tribe's Clan mothers and Our Elders.
We ask people present at the proceedings to email stories describing their feelings on this historic event. Please email any contributions to Sandra Mendoza at email@example.com
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