An Apache Named Fun

painting of apache by bob boze bell
Painting by Bob Boze Bell.

On the San Carlos Apache Reservation in the 1870s the U.S. Army was charged with writing down the names of each tribal member who was eligible to receive rations. The problem the soldiers had was in the Apache culture, it’s rude to ask an Apache his name. Plus, their names are often hard to pronounce, much less spell. This led to the soldiers giving the Apaches creative monikers such as Mickey Free (a popular, fictional, Irish character in a book one of the soldiers was reading) and Curly, who was probably anything but. Some were descriptive—Cut Mouth—and some names were not creative at all, like A-1. But one of the most enigmatic names given was Fun. Was he? One can only hope.

 

A Daring Sense of Humor

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