The Apaches

The Apaches

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The Apaches were American Indians who moved from Canada to Arizona, parts of Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and North America between AD850 and 1400.

The Apache were a wandering tribe, so they had two homes. One in the mountains and one in the desert. They lived in their houses for only a short period of time. The women built their houses which were called Wickiups. These were straw domed shaped houses. The Wickiup was only five or six feet high. Outside the Wickiup was covered with bundles of grass and branches.

The early Apaches wore deer hide. They soaked the hide in water to make it soft. The men wore breechcloths and moccasins. The women wore skirts in the warm weather and simple dresses in the cold weather. The woman sometimes decorated their clothes with dried porcupine quills.

The environment was important for them as they lived off the land a great deal. They lived on lots of wild plants and hunted deer, antelope, elk and buffalo. They also ate prairie dogs, squirrel and rabbits. They would not touch fish or any animals that lived in the water.

As they moved around, they had to change how they lived. They picked up the ways of other cultures. For example, some of them rode horses that they discovered through the Spanish. They became fierce horse warriors from the 18th Century. They raided farming villages for food and goods.

Environment was important to them because wherever they were they had to get food somehow which they hunted for.

As they were on the move they had to adapt how they lived. They picked up the ways of different cultures. e.g. they learnt how to ride horses that they discovered through the spanish.


The Chippewa tribe were living around Lakes Superior and Huron (now Quebec, Ontario, Michigan and Minnesota) by the 18th Century.

They hunted, fished and gathered plants.

They made birch-bark canoes and used the lakes and rivers to travel, so they made use of the environment by using the lakes and rivers as a use of transportation and sometimes food as they fished a lot.

Did you know?
Did you know there were thirty five thousand people in the Chippewa tribe!?

They wore buck skin clothes and moccasins. In the winter they made fur lined shawls and wove turkey down robes.

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They fought against the white people trying to take their land in the nineteenth century.

The Cherokee hang dream catchers in their wigwam entrance to protect their babies from bad dreams and it only let good dreams through so they had a happy sleep.

They lived in villages which had about eight or nine hundred Indians. They lived in wigwams which were domed shaped tents. Many families had tall staked fences (called palisades) around their homes.


The Cherokees lived in the Southern Appalachian Mountains (Virginia, North & South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee).

They lived in log cabins in permanent farming settlements. They built over 60 villages, mostly by the river. Their log cabins had thatch roofs and no windows. Every village had a meeting house where they kept a sacred fire burning.

In one large garden, they grew maize (corn), beans, sunflowers, squash (pumpkin) and tobacco. They also had their own gardens. The women looked after the gardens after the men had prepared the ground for planting. They hunted deer and bear with bows and arrows. They ate freshwater fish, roots, nuts and berries.

For clothing, they wore clothes and shoes made from buckskin. The men liked to paint and tattoo their bodies. Both men and women wore jewellery made from bones and teeth. During the winter, they wore capes to keep them wore. They made these out of rabbit fur or turkey feathers.

Unfortunately they lost a lot of land to the white settlers, especially when gold was discovered on their land in Georgia. In winter 1838/39 they had to march more than 1,000 miles to Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Over 4,000 Cherokee died on this journey, which became known as the ‘Trail of Tears’.

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