What do the Apache believe in?

Although the Apache population has significantly reduced in number since times past, Apache beliefs remain quite numerous. It depends/depended on the particular individual tribe. Sometimes the terms "tribe" and "nation" are referred to interchangeably when referencing indiginous peoples of North America. But this is technically incorrect. It is "the Apache Nation..." or "Apache tribes..." not the "Apache Tribe" in the singular form, because there is more than one Apache tribe. {Also, I would try to refrain from using the simplistic term Apache when writing an Essay, but rather specify which particular group of Apache you are referring to... although I haven't followed this rule below, you should not conclude that when I write "Apache believe" that I mean "all Apache believe." I have tried to reference the fact that I am being very general here several times.

The Apache Nation consists of six regional groups (sometimes called "tribes") Jicarilla (or Tinde), Mascalero (or Faraon), Chiricahua, Lipan, Kiowa (or Gataka), Western Apache (or Pinal Coyotero.) {*Note: There are actually thirteen Apache "tribes"... these are divisions within the regional groups: five in Arizona, five in New Mexico, and three in Oklahoma.} Each tribe may be divided into bands and often each band may also be subdivided, depending the governing tribal council. As you can see, division is a necessary form of separation, which shows that there are some disagreements between bands, or even the larger aspect of tribes within the nation... some of those disagreements are spiritual in nature. Some Apache adhere very strictly to old forms (traditional) of spiritual beliefs. Some choose a belief in a form of synergistic Native Beliefs and Christianity. But there are many beliefs that often remain central to the majority of Apache peoples. These are but a few examples, I can in no way shape or form explain Apache beliefs in Detail on wikianswers. But even with all of that said: The Apache have very strong beliefs that are deeply rooted in their history and within their individual tribes. Many Apache beliefs are based on a very complex system of rules and ideals that have been handed down from generation to generation. Many of the beliefs remain the same today as they have been for a very long period of time. Rituals, traditions, ceremonies and dances are often integral parts of many Apache tribes' beliefs.

#1. Many Apache believe/d in Healing Spirits in Nature. They believe/d that these Spirits were/are with us at all times and in all places that have not been corrupted by man. The3se Spirits were called Di-yin. As a result of this belief they hold/held ceremonies to heal the sick.

#2There were three kinds of Di-yin (or Spirits) and one god. The Di-yin were the moon, earth and sky. The god was Usen (sometimes called Ysun.) According to Apache beliefs Usen, the life-giver, was one of the best Di-yin... in other words more powerful than other Di-yin. Usen would call the Ganh (the mountain sprits). The Ganh taught the Apache how to live in their region.

#3. The Apache also believe/d in evil spirits, which were often translated as "devils" or "demons" in English. These are those spirits that seek to harm Usen's people with disease, or famine. Apache do not believe that Usen Created these spirits, but rather that the blood of the corrupted people who died long ago formed the foundations for their existence. Devil Dancers were once a regular site, and may sometimes be seen at a modern day Pow-Wow. The Devil Dancers presence at a dance was to intimidate the evil spirits, and to praise Usen and/or the Di-yin. The Devil Dancers aren't thought of as Spirits, but rather very spiritual men who are most faithful to Usen... they were often the more muscular of the men, as well... an outward sign of their inner spiritual strength... but less muscular men were not thought of as inferior, however. The Devil dancers would arrive after the prayer dance (or other ceremonial dance) had already begun. They would run out from hiding behind bushes or trees, and shake their fists in the air, and add their screams and yells to the drums. (The drums represent the heartbeat of the Earth... and in essence is symbolic also of the heartbeat within ourselves.) A "clown" may come out after the Devil Dancers, and do funny things to get the group to laugh... (this served/s two primary purposes: 1. to show the devils that they are no longer welcome and 2. to get the people laughing... what better way to follow up a scare, than with a bit of humor?)

4. The Apache believe/d that every major event (e.g. birth, mark of puberty, manhood or womanhood, first time sex, marriage, death etc.) in life should be marked. Generally, this is done with a ceremony or ritual in which all of the *tribe members participate. While Apache Indians may not believe in God, in the same manner as many conservative Christians, they do believe in spirits and they have a very distinct belief in what is good and what is evil. (*see above for how this term is used properly.)

**Note: This in no way shape or form shows what all Apache believe... nor is it meant to; these are mere examples of some relatively commonly shared belief structures between Apache tribes.

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