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Indian Facts for Kids
Geronimo: Apache Indian War Chief
Geronimo was an important 19th-century Apache warrior, leader, and holy man.
He was a war chief of the Bedonkohe
band of the Chiricahua Apaches, located in what is now
Arizona, and was one of the driving forces during the Apache Wars, renowned for his military
resistance against both Mexican and American forces.
Geronimo's real name was Goyaałé, which means "one who yawns" in Chiricahua Apache
(often spelled Goyathlay or Goyathle in English.)
The name "Geronimo" is a Spanish name equivalent to English "Jerome," and was given to
him by the Mexicans for reasons that can only be guessed at (some people have hypothesized that
the Mexicans may have been praying to St. Jerome as they fought against him, others that Mexican
soldiers simply couldn't pronounce his name and picked this Spanish one for him.) He himself
was reported to frequently refer to himself as Geronimo. Many Apache people from this time period
used Spanish names in their everyday lives, believing that limiting the use of their Indian names
conserved their spiritual power.
Books about Geronimo
Geronimo: His Own Story:
Annotated edition of Geronimo's 1906 autobiography.
Geronimo: The Man, His Time, His Place:
An interesting and thorough biography of Geronimo.
Excellent historical fiction about the life of Geronimo by a Native author.
Geronimo and the End of the Apache Wars:
Good history book about Geronimo's role in the Apache resistance.
Once They Moved Like The Wind: Cochise, Geronimo, And The Apache Wars:
Excellent overview of the Apache rebellion and the men and women who fought in it.
Geronimo: Leadership Strategies of an American Warrior:
Military history book about Geronimo and the Apache Wars.
Here are some links to online information about Geronimo:
Apache Chief Geronimo
Why do people shout 'Geronimo' while jumping?
And here are our webpages about the Apache tribe and language:
Southwest Indian art
Athabaskan language family
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