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Loco: Apache Indian Chief
Chief Loco was an important 19th-century Apache leader.
He was a tribal chief of the Mimbreño band of the Chiricahua Apaches, located in what is now
New Mexico. Although he was respected as a warrior and military commander, he is best known
for his ultimately unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a favorable peace with the Americans.
Loco's real name was Łintayitił, often spelled Jlin-tay-i-tith or Lidayisil, which means
"stops his horse" in Chiricahua Apache.
The name "Loco" is a Spanish name meaning "crazy." Contrary to popular theories, this name
was almost certainly NOT an insult from other Apache warriors who disdained his desire to
negotiate with the Americans-- he was going by the name "Loco" long before his peace efforts
got underway. The word "crazy" is used in a non-pejorative way by many Native American
tribes to refer to fearlessness and divine inspiration in battle (examples of this would include
Crazy Horse of the Lakota, the Creek name "Harjo" which literally means crazy, etc.) Oral history
suggests that Loco got his "crazy" reputation due to his ferocity fighting the Mexicans, and
his everyday nickname was probably a Spanish translation of an Apache war sobriquet he
had earned in that way.
Books about Loco
Chief Loco, Apache Peacemaker:
Good biography of Chief Loco for sale online.
Once They Moved Like The Wind:
Excellent overview of the Apache rebellion and the men and women who fought in it.
Here are some links to online information about Loco:
Chiricahua Tribal Leaders
And here are our webpages about the Apache tribe and language:
New Mexico tribes
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