The True Chief of the Chiricahua Naiche led the band—including Geronimo—during the tough times.

Chief Naiche

Geronimo is usually portrayed as the leader of the Chiricahua Apaches, the band that continually left the reservation and headed into Mexico in the 1880s. But the actual chief was Naiche, the son of Cochise. He recognized that, at some point, the Indians would have to adapt to white ways—and he worked toward that end, especially when they settled at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

He also was a noted Native artisan, creating colorful paintings on deer skin and carving intricate designs on canes. Naiche died in the great flu epidemic of 1919.

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