Aravaipa: Apache peoplehood and the legacy of particular geography and historical experience

This study seeks to articulate in the broadest of terms the cultural legacy of Arapa (the ancestral territory encompassing Aravaipa Canyon and the confluence of Aravaipa Creek and the San Pedro River) as seen through the eyes of a group of its Western Apache descendants. It humbly attempts to sketch the basic outlines of the contemporary relationship between this place and those Apaches who possess a working cultural knowledge of it. Specifically, it demonstrates that the experiential exercise of maintaining place is a fundamentally personal one dependent on its individual actors to interact with it and in the process fulfill their obligation to enliven its history, stories and lessons anew. Finally, it illustrates how the unique historical experience emanating from Arapa has no bounds in time or meaning, proving that events of the past--namely the Camp Grant massacre, which precipitated the Apaches' forced exodus from that place--affect Apache culture and society in the present. This study enlists as its primary analytical lens the "peoplehood" matrix--the notion that indigenous peoples in this country (and elsewhere) possess a unique, place-bound sense of group and community identity shaped by lived experiences that sets them apart, both individually and collectively, from dominant society.


Ian Record


Tom Holm





Arizona State Museum: 

P9791 R332


ATT 3165970

UA Library: 

E9791 2004 276
College of Social and Behavioral Sciences