Clare V. McKanna Jr., Book Review Editor
An Apache Life-Way: The Economic, Social, and Religious Institutions of the Chiricahua Indians. By Morris Edward Opler. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996. Maps. Illustrations. Appendix. Footnotes. Bibliography. Index. $22.50 paper.
This Bison reprint of Opler’s classic study, originally published in 1941, provides the reader with a treasure of information on the life-style of the Chiricahua Apache who dominated southeastern Arizona and contiguous portions of Sonora and Chihuahua, Mexico for centuries. Long out of print and difficult to find, this reprint offers the reader with information on Chiricahua childhood, maturation, adult social relations, marital and sexual mores, and political and social organization. Anyone wishing to know why Cochise, Juh, Nana, and Geronimo and other leaders were able to contest Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo intrusion into the Southwest should read this book. It offers a different dimension to the commonly-held belief that the Apache were “savage” and without religion. It is highly recommended.