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Victorio: Apache Indian Chief

Victorio was an important 19th-century Apache warrior and chief. He was a tribal leader of the Chihende band of the Chiricahua Apaches (also known as the Mimbreño or Warm Springs Apaches), located in what is now New Mexico, and was one of the driving forces during the Apache Wars, renowned for his military resistance against both Mexican and American forces. He was also known for his family ties, as his father-in-law was the principal Chiricahua chief Mangas Coloradas, his sister was the Apache medicine woman Lozen, and his brother-in-law was the Chokonen leader Cochise. Victorio was killed in battle in 1880, six years before the final surrender of his sister and the surviving Apache warriors.

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To the best of our knowledge, Victorio's real name remains unknown. Many Apache people of the time period, including Victorio and Geronimo, went by Spanish names in their daily lives, using their Apache names only amongst themselves; some Apache people were even said to have actively concealed their Indian names from outsiders, believing that this conserved their spiritual power. Victorio's Apache name is sometimes given as "Beduiat" or "Bidu-ya," but if either of those names has an Apache meaning, it is not one our Chiricahua speakers recognize.

Books about Victorio

In the Days of Victorio: Recollections of a Warm Springs Apache:
    The story of Victorio and the Apache Wars, narrated by an Apache survivor.
Victorio and the Mimbres Apaches:
    A good biography of Chief Victorio.
Victorio: Apache Warrior and Chief:
    Good book about Victorio's role in the Apache resistance.
Once They Moved Like The Wind:
    Excellent overview of the Apache rebellion and the men and women who fought in it.

Victorio Resources

Here are some links to online information about Victorio:
 Victorio: Fighting for Ancestral Lands
 Victorio's War
 Chiricahua Tribal Leaders
 Wikipedia: Victorio
 Death of the Apache Leader Victorio

And here are our webpages about the Apache tribe and language:
 Apache language
 Apache people
 New Mexico Native Americans
 Southwest art
 Athapascan languages

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