Our Sacred Ceremonies|
The Lipan Apache Tribe’s Badger Run
About The Lipan Apache Tribe's Badger Run
The Badger Run is a ceremonial run, not a race, of the Lipan Apache Tribe (of Texas)
which starts the Lipan Apache Tribe’s annual Nde Daa Homecoming Pow-Wow (2nd week-end March)
and symbolizes an event portrayed in the Lipan Apache Tribe’s Creation story.
The story accounts that in the beginning, all people—the Tree People, the Animal
People, and the Apache People—live in a dark under-earth. The people asked for
volunteers to go up to the earth and check if it was ready for people. Crow volunteered.
Crow went up to check but was side-tracked when he found fish to eat so he did not
return as promised. Beaver was the next to volunteer to check, but Beaver, too, did not
return as promised. Instead, he started building his home on a river. Finally, Badger
volunteered to go up to the surface to check if the world was ready for people. Badger
was trustworthy and promised to come back. When Beaver saw the world was ready,
Badger ran back to the people to tell them. (You can read more of The Emergence in the
Lipan Apache Creation story here:
The Badger Run also celebrates tribe member Robert Soto’s win in the eagle feather
case against the Department of Interior through a ceremony which honors our past and
the chief of all birds, the eagle.
There have always been Lipan Apache people who are Badgers, Lipans who are seen as
“born-to-run” long distance and who are trustworthy. Runners for the Badger Run are
recruited from this pool of Lipan Apaches. For each Badger Run, there are four Badger
runners representing the four directions—north, west, east, and south—and there is
always at least one female runner and one male runner. Based on the direction they
represent, the Badger runners are identified by color: the White Badger (North), the
Yellow Badger (West), the Blue Badger (South), and the Black Badger (East). The Yellow
Badger is always female based on our story of Changing Woman (the Moon) who is
eternal because she turns west. The White Badger, who represents the directions from
which the Lipan Apache people emerged, is the leader of the 4 runners. The White
Badger approves the course, makes sure that the other three runners know the run’s
track for all three stages, starts the run, and sets the pace for the run. The one to four
alternate runners are Grey Badgers who will sometimes run with but behind the four
The Badger runners for the 2019 Nde Daa Homecoming Pow-Wow, running early on
March 9 are:
- George Ozuna (North, White Badger, Leader),
- Ashley Leal (West, Yellow Badger),
- Enrique Cuevas (South, Blue Badger)
- Victoria Martinez-Soto (East, Black Badger)
Learn more about the 2019 Badger Runners here:
Meet the 2019 Badger Runners.
The Badger Run is in three stages.
First: The Badger runners run 4 to 20 miles
from a selected point to the site of the Nde Daa Pow-Wow with
each runner holding a Sacred Staff corresponding to the colors white, yellow, blue, and black.
We encourage that only the four Badgers and any alternates runners participate in this
first stage. At the end of the run, the four Badger runners hand their staffs to the waiting leaders of the tribe.
Their individual staffs become one.
Second: Holding their staffs, the Badger runners run to
a site close to the Nde Daa Pow-Wow where our Apache people are waiting. We
encourage that tribe members who want to participate gather at this place. This year, this waiting site will be the park next to the Lark Center.
Third: The Badger Runners lead and walk the people back to the site of the Pow-Wow.