The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975 Page: 488
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
The Jicarilla Apaches. By Dolores A. Gunnerson. (DeKalb, Illinois: North-
ern Illinois University Press, I974. Pp. xv+325. Illustrations, maps,
bibliography, index. $12.50.)
In recent years much has been written about the Apachean peoples of
the Southwest. Anthropologists, ethnohistorians, and historians all have
examined, described, and speculated about Apache origins, culture, and
warfare, relying generally on standard sources and providing few new theo-
ries or models that open fresh channels of inquiry. A notable departure from
this mold is Dolores A. Gunnerson's The Jicarilla Apaches: A Study in Sur-
vival. In this work, the author, an experienced anthropologist, draws on
archaeological evidence and probes deeply into printed Spanish documents
to construct an in-depth history of Spanish-Jicarilla relations. The study
grew out of her interest in the Cuartelejo and Paloma Apaches (Dismal
River people) of the Central Plains who merged with Jicarillas of northern
New Mexico about I8oo. Well structured and gracefully written, the book
is an able synthesis that suggests new interpretations and dimensions to the
study of Spanish-Indian policy in the Southwest.
Gunnerson's volume falls easily into two parts. The first section focuses
on general Apache history in New Mexico from 1525 to 17oo. The author
questions the view that the Puebloans were battling with the Apaches at
the time of the Spanish entrada, stressing that these sedentary groups were
fighting among themselves and relying on "dog-nomad" peoples from the
Plains (Apaches) as allies or mercenaries. She speculates that the term
Apache may be derived from the Nahuatl word for raccoon (mapachtli),
instead of the Zufii word for enemy. Elsewhere (pp. 43-44) she points to
errors in Hammond and Rey's scholarly Rediscovery of New Mexico, and
discounts (p. 77) some of the conclusions in Jack Forbes's Apache, Navajo,
and Spaniard. She builds the case that the Quinia Apache group near Taos
may have been the ancestors of the Jicarillas.
The second section is equally provocative. Here, the author traces the
movement of the Plains Apaches into the Southwest, citing the pressures
of expanding buffalo herds, and warlike tribes (Comanches and Pawnees),
armed to some extent by the French. During these years the Jicarillas be-
came the first Gentile tribe to serve as Spanish auxiliaries. Gunnerson criti-
cizes the Spanish policy of creating peace by forming alliances with the
Comanches, Navajos, Utes, and Jicarillas-and then encouraging them to
exterminate their less powerful Apache neighbors. The section concludes
with a discussion of the attempts by the Llanero Apaches to identify them-
selves with the favored Jicarillas and the arrival of the Kiowa Apaches on
the New Mexico border with similar intentions. In her epilogue the author
Here’s what’s next.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975, periodical, 1974/1975; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117149/m1/548/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.