Native Americans in the Superstition Mts.

Moderator: somehiker

somehiker
Posts: 694
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:51 pm
anti-spam detector: No
The middle number please (4): 4

Re: Native Americans in the Superstition Mts.

Post by somehiker » Sat Sep 01, 2012 11:05 am

Steven:

I have no objection to your inclusion of other artifacts, similar to what can be found within the Sups, as part of the discussion.
Personally, and partly because of finding another set of grooves at the entrance to a walled-up cave,

Image

I believe the grooves and shallow drill holes discovered by Jim near the "mercury mine" are the result of many hours spent in sharpening iron drill bits. In that thread I suggested that one or more people may have been assigned to the location as lookouts and, since the rock was suitable for such a task, were also given the job of re-sharpening the miners tooling. As Jim pointed out in the thread, the presence of shallow drill holes adjacent to the grooves also supports this theory.
One would not test a stick for sharpness, or an arrow for straightness, by driving it into solid rock, IMO.
All of the tools which I am aware of, that the natives used for smoothing and straightening arrows, were made from palm sized stream pebbles and found in the vicinity of native campgrounds/village sites. While your photo of the grooved rock at the Pueblo La Plata ruin shows grooves as well, they are along the edges of the rock, rather on the horizontal surfaces, which suggests they were created in the process of sharpening an edged tool such as a knife,sword or iron spear point. All of these items were valued by the Apache and other tribes and widely available once the europeans arrived. Iron arrowheads were even made from discarded tin cans,etc.During the Apache Wars,for example, the army took some care not to leave anything behind which could be used in this manner.
The location of the rock,to my way of thinking,suggests a similar situation. That a lookout, posted to the top of the hill, may have relieved his boredom somewhat by sharpening his weapons while keeping watch.

I too found spirit's statement about the Chiracahua having taken refuge at one time within the Sups to be of interest. I can also see that it's entirely possible, considering their wish to remain as close to family as possible, those who remained at San Carlos. As well as being able to conduct war against the army units responsible for their confinement to the reservation.

While it may not be a subject which spirit will discuss, I have also found the stories of "Geronimo's Cave" to be of some interest. Said to contain a large quantity of gold and other treasures looted by the Apache during raids against the Spanish traders,settlements and missions, it is rumoured to be located somewhere near the Salt River. One version of the story suggests that portions of this cache have been retrieved by a group from San Carlos from time to time, and used to make communal purchases.
I suspect I have been to that cave, but have not entered it myself as yet.

spirit:

Tortilla Mountain was the first to come to mind as "dzil daho-il"
Partly because of the Ravens, and those days when they are your constant companions.

Thanks.

Regards:somehiker

StevenTrost
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 9:17 am
anti-spam detector: No
The middle number please (4): 4

Re: Native Americans in the Superstition Mts.

Post by StevenTrost » Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:46 pm

spirit

Thank you for those explanations. I dont pretend to know anything about Apache spirits or power but after your post I feel I am way ahead of where I was. I see now why I was confused by previous topics that tried to explain those issues.
You said before that some apache didn't go into the mountains because of a fear of an evil spirit or people who lived there. But that others didn't hold on to that belief. Can you comment on that people or spirit and why there was a difference ? I think we have all heard the story of the apache thunder god, is this what you were talking about ? Also, like somehiker, I am very interested in the stories about Geronimos cave and things of value that might have been stored in the mountains by the Chericihua. Anything that has to do with the native Americans who were in those mts. I realize some of these things you may not be able to comment on and I respect that if you cannot. Just glad for the things you are giving me, Im downloading all of this so I can use it as a reference. Thank you !

Steven Trost

somehiker,

I'm in agreement with you and coazon de oro as I havent any positive opinion about what the rocks were used for, I'm in complete agreement that they could have been used for sharpening mining equipment. My only difference to that is I believe there is the posibility they COULD have been used for more than one purpose if different cultures were there at the same place but at different times.

Steven

somehiker
Posts: 694
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:51 pm
anti-spam detector: No
The middle number please (4): 4

Re: Native Americans in the Superstition Mts.

Post by somehiker » Sat Sep 01, 2012 5:50 pm

Steven:

If there was just one puzzle I would love to have the answer to,
it would be to the question of which culture made this artifact.

Image

Just to the right of center, it's at least thirty feet high and several hundred feet above the canyon floor.

Image

Regards:somehiker

There are a number of key similarities with the images found here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quetzalcoatl

User avatar
cubfan64
Posts: 689
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:00 am
anti-spam detector: No
The middle number please (4): 4

Re: Native Americans in the Superstition Mts.

Post by cubfan64 » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:38 pm

After some consideration, I decided to post a few additional photos of the area where the groove marks were made in the photo of Clay Worst that Steven attached earlier for spirit and others to look at and comment on if desired.

I was hoping Silenthunter would provide additional information on the cache of tools located near the grooved stones. Identifying their makeup and composition could help determine whether they were indeed being sharpened or used in some way to form those grooves or not.

The stone in that area is surprisingly soft - almost like a sandstone - would that be a good stone to use for sharpening iron tools? If so, would one expect much deeper grooves if they had been used for long times? There are rock walls in the area, small amounts of pottery as well as quite a bit of barbed wire and junk cans and debris also unfortunately.

The small round depressions are interesting as there are so many of them. Are those something that look more native culture for grinding, etc... or is there a purpose for mining tools?

I tend to agree with Steven that the things found in this area accumulated from a jumble of different time periods, and I think at least some are Native American related.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Spirit? I'm really enjoying reading the discussions that you're joining here. I find the Native American culture (especially the southwest because of it's rough terrain and generally inhospitable environments) to be fascinating. The timing couldn't be better because I've been very slowly reading a book by Morris Opler called "An Apache Life-Way" which is specifically about the Chiricahua. While a book can only provide so much information, it's really well researched and written and I'm finding so many links between it and the things you've been speaking about - it makes me more comfortable believing at least most of Opler's works since it meshes well with your descriptions and explanations.

I have a couple quick questions - one specific to the Superstitions, and the other more general.

1) In the stories handed down, do you recall much mention of the climate of the Superstitions and how it was different than it is today? I've heard stories about how there used to be more water flowing (springs, etc...) before the earthquake in 1887, and I've noticed there are names of some areas like "Marsh Valley" that seem to imply that at least at one time, there was more water available and more "lush" conditions. If that were the case, I would assume there were more food sources available as well and perhaps the Native American's who ventured into the mountains stayed there longer or at least entered more often to harvest. Just wondered if you knew anything of the history of the area.

2) I don't know if this is true or not, but Opler's book implies that bear meat was either forbidden to be eaten, or just not eaten for whatever reason. Can you confirm that, and can you provide reasons for why that would be?

Lastly - I just wanted to acknowledge and mention something that I've been thinking about a great deal since reading "An Apache Life-Way." As soon as I was old enough to realize that I was being taught lies (or at least not told the full story from both sides) about Native American cultures and history, I felt a great deal of empathy for all Native American peoples. The way they were and have been treated in general under the disguise of "Manifest Destiny" and "Expansion" were and are deplorable and truly sad.

While reading lately, I find myself truly amazed that the Apache and other natives of the southwest were able to resist as long as they did. The amount of time and effort involved in gathering food and feeding everyone, providing clothing and shelter, raising children, practiving their spiritual beliefts, etc... was obviously a 24/7 venture even when not being pursued by troops. It's a real testament to the Native American spirit that they struggled so mightily and for so long all in an effort to just be left alone, and it's no wonder that they grew so weary after being forced to flee and be pursued endlessly with no respite.

What happened to your ancestors was a real tragedy.

somehiker
Posts: 694
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:51 pm
anti-spam detector: No
The middle number please (4): 4

Re: Native Americans in the Superstition Mts.

Post by somehiker » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:07 am

Paul:

Thanks for the description and additional photos of the site, which prompted me to look around a bit.

Steven:

It could very well be, that the grooves and holes were created by Hohokam or Salado period people.
Found this photo, taken at Keet Seel , of a rock with exactly the same markings.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alanenglish/7909947988/

Regards:somehiker

User avatar
cubfan64
Posts: 689
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:00 am
anti-spam detector: No
The middle number please (4): 4

Re: Native Americans in the Superstition Mts.

Post by cubfan64 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 8:29 am

Wow Wayne - you weren't kidding when you said you found a photo that looks exactly like the one near the mercury mine. It even looks like the same type of sandstone rock - great find!

User avatar
spirit
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Jul 14, 2012 2:50 pm
anti-spam detector: No
The middle number please (4): 4
Location: Natanes mountains

Re: Native Americans in the Superstition Mts.

Post by spirit » Sun Sep 02, 2012 12:50 pm

Steven,

Some Apache believed a race of people lived in the Superstition mountains who would capture, enslave or kill anyone who intruded there. Therefore they avoided those mountains. They believed these people were evil and used witchcraft. All clans however did not hold this belief.

My grandfather told me, in the digo tset-a-go, the Superstition mountains, outcasts and outlaws, Apache who had left their clans and become brujeria (witches) dwelled there and practiced their ilkasn biyi (witch power). In old days if an Apache was discovered to be a witch he would be killed immediately. Some medicine men lost or turned away from their spirit power became brujeria. They hid this from other Apache and sought out places where the Apache did not live to practice their witch power. Grandfather told me in the tset-a go the witches would seek out caves with places large enough to dance in front of the entrances. Here the witches would hold their ilkasn gotali ( witch dance). This was a very evil and brutal ritual and required captives, especially captive women or young girls.

All Apache have an aversion to the dead and handling the bodies of the dead. But not the brujeria. The dead and their bodies were made part of their rituals and poisons. These witches were doo nidahiildzidgo do, without fear of the dead. The witch dance was held in front of their secret caves. The dancing would begin at dusk and last all night until the sunrise. A large bonfire would be built at the entrance to the cave. The witches would strip and paint themselves and dance around the fire holding aloft the remains of corpses exhumed from graves. This dance demanded captives, usually women or young girls. During the ritual the women would be tortured, as the moon reached the zenith they would be killed and parts of their bodies would be taken and used as ingredients in ilkas (poison) for the witches nagintla a (sorcery poison).

This is why I was told some clans avoided going into those mountains. Other clans were not afraid of the brujeria and sought them out to kill them whenever they could. Often these witches carried on this practice without the knowledge of their clan or other Apache clans. They came and went without notice or suspicion. If found out, they would face death at the hands of their clan. These were the people some Apache feared. It was forbidden in some clans to even speak of witches so they used other terms to describe their fear.

cubfan64,

All mountains, the Superstitions included were wetter and provided more food in the old days. Many more springs and creeks flowed most of the year from these springs. Today the springs are gone and the land is drier and plants that once thrived are now gone and new plants with little value have taken their place. Once walnut and acorns were everywhere, today they are gone. When there was abundant food to be found in a place such as the Superstition range, whole clans would stay and harvest food and gather supplies, this would go on sometimes for a month or more depending on the availability of the sources. This is what my grandfather has told me.

Bear are held in sacred awe by some clans but again, not all Apache clans. Some Apache believe the bear to be human, a spirit ancestor or the embodiment of a dead relative. Some Apache who have gained the power of the bear believe they can speak with it’s spirit and cannot be harmed by a bear. Therefore they will not kill or eat the meat of the bear. Some clans claim relationship to the bear. This is not my clan, my clan is of the hawk and the raven. I do not believe all bear are sacred but respect the clans who do and will not hunt or eat the bear.

I am decendant of the Tiis-Ebah Apache (Pinal), my grandfather was part Chiricahua and told many stories of the Chokonen and Bedonkohe while at San Carlos. Thank you for your words. Yosn, bi ihi daahi binaadidzool beehe daadoldi nikazhe. ( With his life, his breath, his power, god extends his hand and blesses you.)

somehiker,

I do not know of the Geronimo cave of the Superstition mountains. If there were such a cave and if it were filled with gold or silver or plunder from past raids, it’s location would not be general knowledge to every Apache. It’s location would be held by individuals or possibly the clan of those involved. This would be a very delicate issue and I know of few Apache who would speak of it if they knew such a thing existed. I can say to you, all mountains the Apache were in were used to store weapons, supplies and materials for lean times or for when they would lose their stores of food and necessities in their clans homeland. Again, these locations would also be specific to the clan or individual and not be the knowledge of every other clan. Some years back a cave of weapons was raided on San Carlos by white men. Many bows, arrows, lances and artifacts were stolen and sold. This cave was know to but a few clans of the Apache but was watched over and held in reverence by those who knew of it’s existence.

ka-dish day

spirit

User avatar
cubfan64
Posts: 689
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:00 am
anti-spam detector: No
The middle number please (4): 4

Re: Native Americans in the Superstition Mts.

Post by cubfan64 » Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:01 pm

Thank you for your responses spirit, and in regards to this statement you made...
Some years back a cave of weapons was raided on San Carlos by white men. Many bows, arrows, lances and artifacts were stolen and sold. This cave was know to but a few clans of the Apache but was watched over and held in reverence by those who knew of it’s existence.
I know a little about the story including having read the court records from the theft and attempt to sell the artifacts. I shudder to think of all the cases of pot hunters and other artifact thievery that takes place behind the scenes - for every one story you hear about, odds are there are hundreds you don't. There's a reason greed is one of the 7 deadly sins.

User avatar
coazon de oro
Posts: 193
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2010 4:12 pm
anti-spam detector: No
The middle number please (4): 4

Re: Native Americans in the Superstition Mts.

Post by coazon de oro » Sun Sep 02, 2012 7:12 pm

Cubfan,

Thanks for posting the rest of the pictures of Jim Hatt, and Clay Worst's finds of the rock near the mercury mine, and Somehiker, thanks for the link of the Keet Seel ruins.

It is good to find answers to our questions. Besides the Archaeologist's description of the rock in Keet Seel, there are no mines anywhere around that area.

It is safe to say that Mr. Clay Worst is sitting in a bead factory.

Homar P. Olivarez

StevenTrost
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed May 23, 2012 9:17 am
anti-spam detector: No
The middle number please (4): 4

Re: Native Americans in the Superstition Mts.

Post by StevenTrost » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:29 am

spirit

thank you for the response to my many questions, you have gone far beyond what I expected to learn here and appreciate your willingness to open up and be so candid and honest.

Thank you so much.

Steven Trost

Post Reply