Presents an in-depth historical reconstruction and a detailed ethnographic account of the Western Apache culture based on firsthand observations made over a span of nearly ten years in the field
The Social Organization of the Western Apache is still one of the most comprehensive descriptions of the social life of an American Indian tribe. Grenville Goodwin knew the Western Apache better than any other ethnographer who ever lived. And he wrote about them from the conviction that his knowledge was important—not only for specialists interested in the tribes of the Southwest, but for all anthropologists concerned with the structure and operation of primitive social systems.
During this same period, Morris Opler was studying the Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache in New Mexico. In order to exchange information about their studies, Goodwin and Opler began corresponding. Both men were convinced that a long-overdue, systematic comparison of Apachean cultures would yield significant results.
This project also includes a new essay by Maurice Crandall, a citizen of the Yavapai-Apache Nation of Camp Verde, Arizona. He is a historian of the Indigenous peoples of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands and is currently assistant professor of Native American studies at Dartmouth College.