Mescalero Apache - Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefs. In traditional belief, a Creator (neither male nor female), which is beyond human comprehension but is manifested in natural phenomena, made the world in four days. Portions of the Creator may be seen in the natural universe (thunder, wind, and so on), and the physical representation is said to be the sun. In addition, there are two Culture heroes, the Twin War Gods, Born for Water and Killer of Enemies, as well as a heroine, White Painted Woman. Power suffuses the universe and can be employed for good or ill. There are now many Christian denominations on the reservation; most people compartmentalize and maintain both Religious systems.

Religious Practitioners. Singers are the traditional practitioners and are so named for they sing ceremonies, complex recitations, and rituals. There are also medicine people, skilled in herbal and psychological healing. Ga?hé, Mountain Gods, are impersonated in complex rituals; they may dance to conduct a blessing or healing.

Ceremonies. The primary extant ceremony is the girls' puberty ceremony, sung any time after initial menses. Singers also sing blessing ceremonies, sometimes in concert with the Mountain God dancers, who are often called upon to bless endeavors and give thanks for success.

Arts. See .

Medicine. There is a Public Health Service hospital on the reservation as well as community health representatives who offer in-home services and training. Additionally, people use traditional medicine and blessing dancers and singers.

Death and Afterlife. The world of humans is the world of illusion and shadow; reality resides in the other world of Power and Creator. Upon death a soul remains close to home for four days; if a proper funeral and burial is held, the soul is freed to make its way to the Land of Ever Summer, as some call it. There is disagreement about whether reincarnation is possible, although most traditional people believe it is.

User Contributions:

I am looking for my place origin of birth, tribe and family name for my records. My grandfather and grand mother the "Luera" were full blood Apache. My other grandmother was a Comanche with the name of Vela. Please help me out with my Tribal name. Thanks a lot, my grandpa call "Hewas"
Robert Schuette
My mother doesn't speak much to me about my Apache heritage. Her biological Fathers name was Grady Dunigan. I discovered through a search that my family roots on my mothers side are all of the San Carlos band. I am a former special forces member and always wondered why tracking and training dogs became so easy for me. I am now 50 and have a terminal illness that will one day take me home.

I have had many visions of Mesa's and also being involved as an Apache warrior. I do not know my real father he was german but I do know that my Great Grandmother on my mothers side spoke a dialect of the Apache language. Since my illness (I am still mobile and fully fuctional) I have been having doubts about my Catholic religion. I just need to know where my roots are on my mothers side and I would like to learn the ways. I have been involved in many battles and I have always wondered why I survived some of them when others did not.

If anyone can help me I would really appreciate it.

Thank you
I have been trying to look into my heritage.for some time now. All I know is my great grandmother was Marta Luna Baca she was mescalero apache.. does anyone know how I can enroll. Thanks
I would like to research my family history because my great grandma was a full blood apache and her father was a full blood apache as well and I would like to know about the religion and its practices because before she died she gave me apache indian doll that resembled a wolf and told me it would come into some use when I need it so please help me become aware of what I need to do thank you .
My great great grandma was mescalero apache I never got to meet her but I'm learning about my tribe and I was wondering if there was any prayers out there that will help me get rid of my bad luck. I pray to the great creator, my ancestors, and the spits for help but I think I'm doing it wrong. If anyone knows of a prayer please let me know and what I need to release this curse that has followed me through my whole life. I use sage a lot.. thanks, Dawn
Holly Gomez
I am Mescalero Apache, I have been searching to find the possible family names on roll , but have not had much luck so far. It has not been possible for me to see said roll list. Unlike some other tribes. where you can. I have names like. Castillo, Sanchez, Lopez and a name I can't pronounce . I must find the paper and enter that name later . I am hoping someone can help me . I know my family migrated to what is now Mexico, and settled , then came back across the boarder to the now US .

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic: