My grandfather, Maco, had been our chief. I never saw him, but my father often told me of the great size, strength, and sagacity of this old warrior. Their principal wars had been with the Mexicans. They had some wars with other tribes of Indians also, but were seldom at peace for any great length of time with the Mexican towns.
To celebrate each noted event a feast and dance would be given. Perhaps only our own people, perhaps neighboring tribes, would be invited. These festivities usually lasted for about four days. By day we feasted, by night under the direction of some chief we danced. The music for our dance was singing led by the warriors, and accompanied by beating the esadadedne (buck-skin-on-a-hoop). No words were sung–only the tones. When the feasting and dancing were over we would have horse races, foot races, wrestling, jumping, and all sorts of games (gambling).
I was born in No-doyohn Canon, Arizona, June, 1829.
In that country which lies around the head waters of the Gila River I was reared. This range was our fatherland; among these mountains our wigwams were hidden; the scattered valleys contained our fields; the boundless prairies, stretching away on every side, were our pastures; the rocky caverns were our burying places.
I was fourth in a family of eight children– four boys and four girls. Of that family, only myself, my brother, Porico, and my sister, Nah-da-ste , are yet alive. We are held as prisoners of war in this Military Reservation (Fort Sill).
As a babe I rolled on the dirt floor of my father’s tepee, hung in my tsoch (Apache name for cradle) at my mother’s back, or suspended from the bough of a tree. I was warmed by the sun, rocked by the winds, and sheltered by the trees as other Indian babes.