Shiwea (My Granddaughter):

I know that your heart has always been connected to our people, the
Ndee, no matter where you have been. I sense your desire to know about the time in which we used to live. The way was purer, more peaceful for the Apache then. Usen, The Life-Giver, was clearer to us. His blessings touched all parts of our lives. He created our lands, the fruit and grain, the game we needed. Through Him, Is Dzán Naadleeshe' -Changing Woman-was created.

We are Is Dzán Naadleeshe' Bi Chaghaashe, the Children of Changing Woman. By way of Changing Woman and her twin sons, Naye'nazgháne' (Slayer of Monsters), fathered by the sun, and Túbaadeschine (Born of Water-Old Man ) our people have been greatly blessed. Through the Na'ii'ees the Sunrise Dance, she bestows her will, power and blessings upon her children. Our people celebrated life all the time, prayed every day. What we lived and knew we didn't take for granted.

Life was very hard for us after the Spanish and Anglos forced their way into our lives. We had to fight and move all the time. But they couldn't penetrate into our strongholds the way they did with the Pueblos, Pima, and other tribes. Our men became perfect warriors not because they wanted to, but because they loved their families and their people.

The Apache do not like to talk about the past. This is part of our teachings. It is because I felt your need to know and understand who and what you are that I speak to you - who lives in both worlds - and through you to other peoples.



>-Bá din dal

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