Geronimo: The Shaman’s “Power” Some had the "gift" and Geronimo was one of those blessed.


Like most indigenous peoples, the Apaches were fascinated by individuals exercising any form of clairvoyance.

Some had the “gift” and Geronimo was one of those blessed. When threatened by soldiers, Geronimo would consult his Power, a guardian spirit which came in the form of a healing ability, clairvoyant powers, which led the shaman to flee the moment he felt his life or freedom to be threatened. His Power served him well as he managed to survive to an old age. His followers were also “true believers” in Geronimo’s Power. Some claimed he used it to summon the rain and thwart the efforts of his pursuers. He would “sit down and sing, invariably bringing rain within an hour’s time.” 

One night deep in the Apache sanctuary in the Sierra Madre, Geronimo, his forty warriors and five Mexican women captives were feasting on roasted beef. Suddenly Geronimo dropped his knife and declared, “Our people whom we left at our base camp, are now in the hands of U.S. troops!”

Jason Betzinez, writing of this later said, “I cannot explain it to this day but I was there and saw it.”

Geronimo hadn’t received word by a messenger but he described exactly the astonishing way Crook had found the camp that had been the most secure of Apache retreats and captured it.

On January 10th, 1886, Captain Emmet Crawford’s scouts attacked Geronimo’s camp in the Sierra Madre. Following the battle Geronimo agreed to meet the next day for a parley. The two groups were camped about a hundred yards apart. Several sentinels fell asleep and a Chiricahua scout for the Army was convinced Geronimo used his Power to “shoot a sleeping spell,”​ to cause the sentinels to fall asleep.

 The scout attributed this unusual phenomenon to the supernatural so he used his Power to sing and sing, compromising Geronimo’s Power and the scouts woke up. When Geronimo saw what was happening he became annoyed and began yelling angrily at the other shaman.

So you see why they put a lot of faith into ones who had the Power. 

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