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United States. Office of Indian Affairs / Annual report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for the year 1905, Part I
([1905])

Reports concerning Indians in Arizona,   pp. 156-180 PDF (12.1 MB)


Page 161

REPORTS CONCERNING INDIANS IN ARIZONA.                 161 
very little is sold on account of the distance to haul to market. The most
of 
the firewood is cedar. 
Missionary efforts.-The Lutheran Church has had a missionary and a teacher
here at work during the year. They are good men, and they have been active
and persistent, yet there is little tangible improvement. These men teach
well 
by example as well as by precept, and it is no fault of theirs that they
have such 
few good results. The Indians are so superstitious and tenacious to follow
their 
old customs that it is difficult to change them. The teaching of the Indian
"medicine man " interferes and conflicts with the work of the missionaries,
as well as all other schools. 
The missionary teacher became so discouraged in his efforts to have the chil-
dren attend school that he abandoned it. and, I think, there is no intention
to 
reorganize that school. The main cause of the teacher's failure was the fact
that the church did not furnish a noonday meal and that there was no police
force to compel the children to attend. The parents of those children would
purposely move away so far that their children were not able to attend. The
church has a building suitable for Indian congregations, which they have
been 
using for school purposes. The missionary holds the most of his services
in 
the Indian camps, and he speaks through an interpreter. He has been helpful
in conducting the Sunday school of the Fort Apache school. 
Marriage customs.-As evidence of better behavior it can now be reported 
that most of these Indians secure a marriage license and are married here
at 
the agency, yet occasionally a couple is found living together without such
per- 
mit or contract. Those who follow the dictates of the "medicine man
" do not 
comply with the law in getting a marriage certificate until they are compelled
to do so. The vow, if such it may be called, is akin to a farce usually.
The 
contracting party soon tires of the chosen companion and seeks another; hence
divorce is quite common. It has been our design to make the marriage contract
to them a serious step in life and divorce getting as difficult as possible.
Dur- 
ing the year I believe there have been few wife purchases. Only a few years
ago almost all girls were sold as if they were only ordinary animals. The
birth 
of a female child was hailed with much greater delight than a male, for it
meant 
a sale. Improvement in the Apache marriage custom is plainly seen, and it
is 
encouraging. Another favorable sign is that more husbands and brothers are
assisting their wives and sisters in the fields. 
Occupations.-The following are the principal occupations in which they earn
the most of their living: 
(1) Farming; (2) pony and cattle raising; (3) making hay for Fort Apache
and this agency; (4) cutting and hauling wood to Fort Apache and this place;
(5) freighting; (6) road, fence, and ditch making and repairing. If they
are 
given the opportunity, they will furnish all the hay needed by the military
at 
Fort Apache and this school and agency. These markets properly belong to
the 
White Mountain Apaches. I have had a great deal of trouble to hold the mili-
tary part of it. The inspection of the hay brought in by the Indians is made
so 
rigid that it is hard for them to supply that market. The Indians have not
had 
fair treatment there in the payments for supplies or labor during the most
of 
the year. In place of paying the Indian cash for what he has to sell, the
man- 
agement is such that he usually must accept the most of it in merchandise.
The 
Indian should be paid the cash promptly, and thus give him the liberty to
buy 
where he pleases. 
Charity home for the helpless.-My recommendation for a home for the help-
less has been approved by the Department, the school supervisor, and by the
field matron; but there have been so many other matters requiring attention
that this home has not been established. It is proposed to try the experiment
of a charity home for the very old and otherwise helpless and dependent;
but 
in the construction of houses for these people their habits, inclinations,
and man- 
ner of living must be considered. If they are furnished a good house, it
will be 
anything but home to them. It must be neither the tepee nor the modern house
of the civilized. The habits of these old people can not be changed. A house
for them to enjoy may be inclosed with lumber, but it must have a floor of
earth, 
so that they can do the cooking in their accustomed manner; they could not
use 
a cook stove if one were furnished. 
Recommendations.-The following recommendations are respectfully submit- 
ted: (1) That a boys' dormitory and a mess building be constructed this year
for the Fort Apache schools; (2) a suitable home for the helpless be estab-
lished at or near the agency, so that such dependents may be protected from
the heartless of their own tribe; (3)-a building for dispensary and hospital
be constructed for the school and agency; (4) five Indians be employed during
IND 1905--1I 


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