A friend said she saw some antique Apache playing cards posted on an online auction. She also said they looked homemade. Did the Apaches play cards, and if so, did they make their own?

A friend said she saw some antique Apache playing cards posted on an online auction. She also said they looked homemade. Did the Apaches play cards, and if so, did they make their own?

Flontrella Deveaux
New Iberia, Louisiana

I called the White Mountain Apache Culture Center at Fort Apache to get to the source and was told that the Apaches did indeed make their own playing cards. The cards were colored to designate point value, ie., a black card was worth one point and the red worth two points, etc. The most popular were games of chance and they were played mostly by the women.

What do you think?

Marshall Trimble

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and the Wild West History Association’s vice president. His latest book is 2018’s Arizona Oddities: A Land of Anomalies and Tamales. Send your question, with your city/state of residence, to marshall.trimble@scottsdalecc.edu or Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327.