Indians of North America Series: The Apache. Edited film documents the history of the Apache American Indians with the emphasis on the demise of the buffalo, reservation life and the ever-present conflict with the United States government over land rights. Film documents the Sunrise Ceremony celebrating a girl's rite of passage into womanhood; footage shows the gift-giving ceremony and symbolic sprinkling with plant pollen. Explained in detail is the fissioning of the Apache into smaller subgroups called bands, with democratic ideals run by chiefs and councils. Other themes explored include: the impact of settlers on Apache land; American governmental policies of assimilation; American boarding school policies forbidding Apache children to speak their language or openly discuss cultural activities or traditions; Forces of change such as the railroad, break-up of the prairie, cattlemen, armed forces and travelers. Stories of tribal hero, Geronimo, reveal his band to be the last to surrender to the United States Army after escaping from the Apache reservation to raid white settlements and ultimately being captured and declared a prisoner of war. Footage depicts "wickups," Apache dwellings; the Sunrise Ceremony; black and white photographs of Geronimo; black and white footage of 1935 government film citing the origin of Native Americans. Interviews with various Apaches including tribal chairman, Ronnie Lupe, reveal the importance of living in harmony with the earth and the integral role of stories and songs and rituals which help the elders pass on traditions and cultural knowledge to the younger Apaches.
Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, MD