The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003 Page: 486
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
H. Henrietta Stockel masterfully weaves the historical record, oral history,
and personal experiences to create an important work, Chiricahua Apache Wom-
en and Chzldren. Stockel begins to explain the role that women played "in rela-
tion to their husbands and children, to their relatives, extended families, and
to the band or tribe at large" (p. xiv) and which were "prescribed by inviolable
traditions" (p. xiv). Stockel understands that the complexities of Chiricahua
women's history reach beyond available resources at archives, libraries, court
and military documents, and even oral history. Without being apologetic,
Stockel informs the reader that without growing up Chiricahua, one can never
truly understand the intricacies of that culture. Her fascination with the
Apache, which began at age ten, led her to a life of academic investigation.
Her research, together with the building of long-lasting friendships with
Apache women and her respectful interaction and questions, informed this
Stockel begins Chzricahua Apache Women and Children logically by explaining
the role that women played historically and in religious tradition within the
Chiricahua Apache. In her first chapter, she admirably relates many variations
of White Painted Woman's story, allowing the readers to choose for themselves
which story to believe, as the Chiricahuas did themselves throughout the ages.
But Stockel reaches beyond religion and has begun to unravel the pre-conquest
history of the tribe as well. The reader will join this reviewer to encourage
Stockel to continue this investigation.
Stockel's next three chapters delve into definitions of gender roles, women's
medicinal knowledge, and the important role they played in childrearing. Her
third chapter describes the intricacies of the key ceremonies of the Apache, the
Puberty Ceremony, a ceremony in which Stockel has personally participated as
a helper. In these intermediate chapters, she wonderfully illustrates her mastery
of intertwining oral history, personal narrative, and documentary evidence.
In the penultimate chapter, Stockel respectfully describes four women who ex-
panded beyond their prescribed gender roles and, using the training all young
children received, became respected Apache warriors. The final chapter recounts
the life of a well-known Apache woman, a "modern warrior," and one of the last
surviving Apache prisoners of war-Mildred Imach Cleghorn. While Cleghorn
became Stockel's "Apache mother," the author capably provides a historically bal-
anced and valuable assessment of Cleghorn's life in this short "biography."
The chapters follow logically and provide the reader with a balanced under-
standing of Apache women from their own perspective, supported by mono-
graphs, articles, interviews, unpublished manuscripts, correspondence,
newspapers and pamphlets, and federal documents. Her synthesis of this materi-
al will be well received by women's historians who search for an effective model
upon which to study other Native women's experiences. This monograph should
be considered for use in many history courses ranging from Native American,
western women, ethnic, and oral history courses.
SANDRA K. MATHEWS-LAMB
Nebraska Wesleyan Universzty
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 106, July 2002 - April, 2003, periodical, 2003; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101223/m1/554/: accessed July 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.