|The Apache Indians lived in what is now New Mexico and Arizona. They were a nomadic group of people and would at times travel as far south as Mexico.|
Because the Apache was a wandering group they
spent their time in two homes, one in the mountains and one in the
desert. They lived in one place for only short periods of time then
moved. The women built their homes called wickiups. The wickiup was a smalldome-shaped
hut. It was not sturdy. A mother and daughter could build the wickiup in a few hours.
First they found a level spot. They drew a circle about eight feet across on the spot.
Next the women dug a small trench beside the circle. Then thin poles of oak orwillow trees
were placed in an upright position in the trench to make the frame for the wickiup. The
tops of the poles were pulled together and tied with strands of yucca. The top of the
wickiup was only five or six feet high in the center. In cold weather an openingwas left
at the top of the hut so smoke could escape from the fires. Outside the wickiupwas covered
with bundles of grass and branches.
In the early years of the Apache they made their clothing from deer hide. They soaked the hide in water then stretched and rubbed it to make it soft. The men wore breechcloths and moccasins in warm weather. In cold weather they wore shirts that came almost to their knees. The moccasins reached to their knees or above with the soles covered with rough, untreated animal skin. The men wore a simple headband of deerskin. Later the Apache men wore vests like the Mexicans and Americans. The women wore skirts in the warm weather and simple dresses in the cold weather. The edges of the dresses were fringed and sometimes decorated with dried porcupine quills. They wore their hair straight instead of the more common braided style of many Native Americans. Later they began wearing Mexican clothing made of colorful cotton.