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Apache Indians In 1860

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In 1860 approximately four thousand Western Apache Indians occupied an enormous portion of the present state of Arizona. Ranging from the Sonoran desert environs to the ponderosa pine forests, the Apache subsisted on wild plant foods which they collected; corn, beans, and squash which they grew; animals which they hunted; and livestock which they stole in raids south of the border. Within forty years, however, the Apache way of life was inexorably altered as a result of contact with the White man. Following a series of bloody skirmishes with federal troops as well as savage massacres, the Apaches were confined to reservations for their own protection. Soon new words entered the Apache vocabulary—words like smallpox, scarlet fever,…show more content…
For the most part the early missionaries labored diligently among the Apache. However, for nearly two decades the unforeseen variables of loneliness, illness, culture shock, the complexities of the Apache language, fear, and even infidelity took their toll on some of the pastors, and the rate of clergy turnover was high. This situation was to change with the arrival of the Guenthers in 1910 and the Up leggers in 1918 who made the conversion of the Apache a lifelong commitment. Today approximately 3,000 of the 16,000 Apaches located on the White Mountain and San Carlos Apache Indian Reservations are Lutherans. The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod maintains ten congregations and six pastors, four parochial schools with 22 teachers, and an orphanage. This paper is neither a history of the Western Apache nor a chronicle of Lutheran mission work among these people. Instead, it is an examination of cross-cultural understanding and misunderstanding. The anthropological theories, missionary observations, and critical analyses are intended to make a contribution to mission methodology and provide direction for mission policy makers. The paper itself is divided into three parts Contrasting Cultures,Contrasting Languages, and Mission
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