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Transcript of Geronimo
Geronimo is Mescalero-Chiricahuan for: "one who yawns." Mescalero-Chiricahuan is a language spoken by Mescalero and Chiricahuan tribes in Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Because of a movie made in 1939 about Geronimo, paratroopers now shout: Geronimo! To show that they have no fear of jumping. The U.S. Military also named the operation that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden: Operation Geronimo, in 2011, but Native Americans took offense to the military naming their operation after Geronimo so the U.S. changed the operation's name to Operation Neptune's Spear.
Apache is the common name for a group of tribes that are ethnically associated with each other. Geronimo was born within the Bedonkohe tribe which was an Apache tribe at the time. His grandfather, Mahko, was chief of the the Bedonkohe band. The Bedonkohe tribe is no longer part of the Apache group. The current Apache tribes are: Navajo, Western Apache, Chiricahua, Mescalero, Jicarilla, Lipan and Plains Apache.
Geronimo had four sisters and three brothers. Geronimo's parents raised Geronimo traditionally according to Apache customs.
When Geronimo's father died, his mother took him to live with the Chihenne tribe and he grew up within the group.
I think Geronimo was a great leader (even though he was an outlaw) and he led his group well. I really enjoyed learning about Geronimo because there are so many interesting facts and stories about him.
Geronimo was born in June 1829 on the Gila River which is also known as the Keli Akimel or just the Akimel. The Gila River runs for 1,044km and is a branch of the Colorado River. The Gila River runs through New Mexico and Arizona, which are both states of the U.S.A.
The First Attack
This first attack on was on the sixth of March 1851, which involved four hundred Mexican and Spanish soldiers invading from Sonora. The attack was led by Colonel José María Carrasco. They attacked Goyahkla's camp which was a popular spot for trading just outside Janos. Among those that were killed were Geronimo's mother, his wife, Alope, and his three children. From then on Geronimo hated all Mexicans and Spaniards until he was dead. Geronimo's chief, Mangas Coloradas, sent him to ask for help from the nearby group, Cochise, to assist in revenge attacks against the Mexicans and Spaniards. It was during this revenge attack that, ignoring a wall of bullets, Geronimo stabbed Mexican soldiers with only a hunting knife.
Wives and Children
Geronimo married nine times and had six children including three that were killed in a raid. Geronimo's second wife was Chee-hash-kish and had two children with her named Chappo and Dohn-say. He then married again to Nana-tha-thtith and had a child with her. Geronimo then married two women at once, Zi-yeh and She-gha. His seventh and eighth wives were named Shtsha-she and Ih-tedda. His ninth and final wife was called Azul.
The Kas-Ki-Yeh Massacre took place in December 1860. The attack consisted of thirty miners that staged a surprise attack on the Bedonkohe Tribe. Historian, Edwin R. Sweeney says that the miners killed four Indians, injured others and kidnapped thirteen women and children. That evening, Geronimo and some other members from his tribe were walking back from town when they met a few women and children who said that some Mexican troops had raided the tribe, killed all of the guards, taken all their transport and weapons and killed many women and children. They all split up and went different ways back to the tribe. When they got there they counted all the bodies and Geronimo found that his mother, wife and three young children were amongst the dead.
Casa Grande Massacre
One escape, in particular, was so extraordinary that people are still baffled as to how he made it today. Geronimo once went into a cave and did not know that a U.S. soldier was waiting at the mouth for him to come out, but he didn't. Geronimo was sighted outside the cave sometime after that. No one, to this day, has been able to find the second entrance through which he escaped definite capture.
Again in 1873, the Mexicans attacked the Apache. After months of fighting in the mountains, the fighting stopped, and the Mexicans and Apaches signed a peace treaty in Casa Grande. But, when the Apaches were intoxicated from an alcohol beverage, mezcal, that the Mexicans gave them, the Mexicans attacked and killed twenty Apaches and captured more. Even though Geronimo was outnumbered, he repeatedly attacked U.S. and Mexican troops and became even more famous for daring feats and numerous escapes from capture.
After his retirement from the military, Geronimo led a group thirty-eight men, women and children. They ducked and weaved themselves out of capture from Mexican and U.S. troops for over one year. This achievement made him the most famous Native American at the time and earned him the name "the worst Indian ever" from the U.S. and Mexicans
Geronimo and his band where being hunted by Apache Scouts and the Army when Geronimo signed a surrender with General Crook. But he took off the next morning with few of his followers. Captain Henry Lawton and First Lieutenant Charles B. Gatewood were selected by the new general, General Nelson A. Miles, to go and hunt down Geronimo and his group and bring him back, dead or alive. Geronimo and his band were so worn out by the Lieutenant and Captain's lengthy pursuit and finally surrendered to General Miles on the 4th of September, 1886, at Skeleton Canyon, Arizona.
Prisoner of War
Geronimo, his group and the Apache Scouts that helped the Army hunt the outlaw group down were all sent to Fort San Houstan temporarily. About six weeks later they were transferred to Fort Pickens but his family were sent to Fort Marion. The next time that they saw each other was in May, 1887. The reason for their sudden reunion was because they were all being moved to Mount Vernon Barracks for seven years. In 1894 they were moved again to Fort Still. At the age of sixty-five and over, Geronimo became a celebrity. He appeared at the World's Fair in 1904 at St. Louis, but was not allowed to return to the place of his birth. Geronimo also rode in President Theodore Roosevelt's introductory parade in 1905. Also in 1905, Geronimo agreed to tell his story to S.M. Barrett, Superintendent of Education in Lawton, Oklahoma, which was quite an interesting process, including having to appeal to the President to allow a book to be published, being translated by Asa Daklugie, and re-writing and taking out the footnotes made by Barrett was Fredrick Turner's job.
Geronimo died on the 17th of February. He was thrown from his horse and could not get up, he then had to lie on the ground all night when it was freezing cold until a friend found him very ill. Geronimo died from pneumonia on his deathbed at Fort Still. Geronimo's last words were to his nephew. He said:
" I should never have surrendered. I should have fought until I was the last man alive."