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Geronimo, the Apache Warrior


This famous warrior turned, during his struggle, towards the autobiographic weapon.

The face of Geronimo has a geodesy of tales engraved by time and struggle. His name, virtually synonymous with warrior, has extended so far that we have all shouted it —or at least heard it be shouted—in daily situations (like we’ve heard it in the cinema, while sitting in the dark). But we rarely associate it with his impressive face.

Geronimo was one of the great warriors of the history of Apache resistance in North America, and the only tribe chief who wrote his memoires in the interest of reconciliation with the United States government. Today he represents a sort of seasoned ghost that wanders through the most diverse of Western instances.

Geronimo in traditional native american garb

In 1906 Geronimo published his life, starting from the years of struggle in the resistance, until his capture and the fame that followed —when he appeared in the World Fair of Saint Louis in 1904, and met President Roosevelt—. It might seem odd that someone with this will, would want to tell his story so that even his enemies could have access to it, however, the act embodies his need to make his story known and to be understood. He also expressed his hope of having the United States government allow his tribe and other Apaches to return to their native south-western lands, he even went as far as dedicating his book to Roosevelt in a certain eagerness to persuade him. Sadly, this never happened. His memories where the last and most sublime of battles and what led to a large extent, to have his name to remain in the collective memory.

Geronimo was essentially a warrior that defended his tribe from the American militia and from the Mexicans on the border with the United States. Although his life was naturally plagued by war and spiritual accomplishments, the incident that transformed his path and his intent was when Jose Maria Carrasco, a Mexican general, attacked the Apache camp where his wife and children were, and killed them all.

Geronimo posing with a rifle

This happened on one of the occasions in which the Apaches were camping in Mexico for commercial reasons. When the men went back to the camp after visiting the town, they realised it had been plundered by the Mexicans. When Geronimo arrived he found his wife, his mother and his children were dead. In his autobiography he only states that at that moment he went to stand by the river. The warrior does not delve into the feelings he experienced at the time, but his omission alludes to the immeasurable pain of his loss.

Geronimo returned to his home and burnt down the tipi in which he and his family lived and swore he would have his revenge from the Mexicans. A year later he returned to Mexico with a large group of warriors and started carrying out his revenge. In that moment, soldiers and colonisers invaded his land and the vanishing of the Apache tribes began.

The strength and courage of this man, are enough to honour him, are a type of force that move the world —and each one of us, even if we ignore its origin.


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