The Apache were peaceful hunter/gatherers when encountered in 1541 by Coronado’s first expedition. Their territory included southern New Mexico, western Arizona and northern Mexico.
Acquiring horses from the Spanish, they used them to defend their home against encroaching settlements.
Taught to blend into the landscape and endure hardship, small bands of braves outfought and outfoxed the regimented cavalry. Finally outnumbered, they retreated to their strongholds in the Black Range.
Broken promises, uneasy truces, and bloody battles describe the ultimate defeat of the proud Apaches who would not tolerate reservation life. When Geronimo and Naiche finally surrendered in 1886, the last of their tribe was imprisoned and relocated to Florida.
The Geronimo Springs Museum in Truth or Consequences contains Apache artifacts, plus a collection of Mogollon (Mimbres) Indian pottery.