Geronimo: Renegade of Justice

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Geronimo was no doubt a brave warrior, whether he was a hero or a villain depends on who you ask. To the Mexicans and southwestern Americans, he was a murderer. One San Antonio reporter even said, “[He was] five foot eight inches in height and 9,000 feet in meanness.” (Stout 107). To the rest of the country he was a celebrity and to his people, he was a brave and noble leader. Whatever way viewed, his name and actions have left an eternal mark on America’s soil.
His legend does not have an exact starting point, though scholars know he was born sometime in the late 1820’s. He was the descendant of a respected family, his grandfather Mahko, the chief of their tribe before his dad, Talkishim, or “the Gray One.” He was born into the Chiricahua tribe, one of many Apache bands in the area. His original Apache name was Goyahkla which means “one who yawns.” His birthplace is thought to be somewhere near present day Clifton Arizona, though no one really knows for sure; Geronimo called it “No-dayohn Canyon.” He says he had three brothers and four sisters, but he most likely only had one blood-related sibling, his sister Nahdoste. Their language had only one word for both sibling and cousin, so distinguishing between them was next to impossible. (Stout 1-10)
Growing up in the tribe, Geronimo learned his people’s beliefs and customs. They believed in an ultimate power called Usen. As their origin story goes, a young boy was hid away by a painted lady. When he grew up, he went out hunting and confronted a dragon who he then killed. Usen then taught the young boy to hunt and gather medicinal herbs. This young boy’s name was Apache, the founder of all the Apache tribes. (Barrett 3-11) The Apaches also believed in supernatural forces. Sometime...

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Stout, Mary. Geronimo: a Biography. Santa Barbara, California: Greenwood Biographies, 2009. Print.

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