Our Sacred Traditional Lands|
Cemetery in El Barrio de los Lipanes," Presidio, TX
Culminating several years of working together to gain State Antiquities Landmark (SAL) designation for
the historical Lipan Apache Cemetery in Presidio, local leaders and representatives of the Lipan Apache
Tribe of Texas held a ceremony to commemorate the site on Saturday February 25, 2017. Members of the
Lipan Apache Tribal Council and tribe members joined local leaders, including Mayor John Ferguson and
County Judge Cinderella Guevara and Presidio County Historical Association Member Trish Runyon, to
publicly recognize the site and its historical and cultural significance in the community and to celebrate
the erection of a fence protecting it. The ceremony took place near the southwest corner of Market Street
and Barton Avenue where the cemetery is located.
The site lies in the heart of an old Lipan Apache settlement, which in 1880 was enumerated as "Lipanes"
by the US Census. The neighborhood later came to be known as Barrio de los Lipanes by the local
community. It was originally established as an Establecimiento de Paz (peace settlement) in the 1790s as
part of a far-reaching new policy by Spanish Viceroy Bernardo Galvez intended to bring to an end the
centuries-long war with the Apaches.
"The first Lipans to live there were members of the Tcha shka-ózhäyê (Little Breech
Cloth) and Kó’l Kahn (Prairie Grass) Bands of the Lipan Apache Nation. The Little Breech Cloth Band
later relocated to South Texas where they live today, and the Prairie Grass Band stayed behind and are
still here today," said Tribal Vice Chairman, Robert Soto. Linda Walking Woman stressed, though, “today
we are all united under one strong community, the Lipan Apache Tribe. The Tribe is happy one of our
sacred lands is finally protected from further destruction.”
The City and County of Presidio, the Presidio County Historical Association, and the Center for Big Bend
Studies worked with the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas to win SAL designation for the site by the Texas
Historical Commission in August 2014.
"We are very proud to have come together as a community to rescue this important cultural site, and we
will continue working together to ensure it is properly recognized as major feature of local history and
culture," said Mayor John Ferguson.
A temporary fence has been erected to protect the site in anticipation of a period-appropriate permanent
fence in the near future.
The public is cordially invited to participate in the ceremony and hear more about the history and
significance of the cemetery and the Barrio de los Lipanes.