The Lipan Apache Tribe Community Page
Museum and Cultural Center

Research Credit: Nancy McGown Minor & Hermelinda Walking Woman

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    Creation Story
In the beginning, there was nothing on the earth, but there was a lower world where all of the Tree people, the Animal people, and the Human people lived. They all lived in a dark world since there was no light down there.

    Lipan Name
The name Lipan means “The Light Gray People.” It comes from the Lipan word for a light gray color (kleh-pai) and the word for The People or The Tribe (indeh or ndé).

    Lipan Bands
When the Lipans migrated into Texas in the 1600’s, they migrated as one tribal unit. However, after they came to Texas, they divided into two large divisions.

The Lipan Apaches came to Texas in the 1600’s because they were looking for a homeland which contained buffalo and deer to hunt, plant foods which could be gathered and fertile river banks where they could plant corn and squash.

    Everyday Life
The Lipans hunted a variety of animals and gathered a great variety of plant foods. Their primary source of meat was the buffalo, which they hunted twice a year in hunts which were called carneadas by the Spanish.

    Lipan Chiefs
Flacco, Poca Ropa, Cuelgas de Castro, Costalites, and Magoosh are five great chiefs of the Lipan Apaches whos feats were documented by non-natives of their times.

    Lipan Weapons
The primary Lipan offensive weapons were the bow, (called tcéc éhl’khiän), the arrow (called k’há) and the lance (called tchá tche sh?). Only men were allowed to construct these items...

The Lipan Apaches were traditional hunters and gatherers who practiced limited agriculture. The Lipan traded buffalo and deer hides for sugar, tobacco and chili peppers with the Spanish.

    Spanish Contact
When the Spanish founded a mission and presidio at San Antonio in 1718, they knew there were Apaches in Texas, but they believed that they lived at least two hundred miles to the north.

When Mexican patriots in Texas took up the grito of Father Manuel Hidalgo of Dolores for the independence of Mexico from Spain, the Lipans backed the patriots.

    Texas Republic
The Lipans enjoyed a rare decade of peace under the Republic of Texas (1836-1845). The government formally recognized the Lipan Apaches as friends,...

    Treaties & Attacks
Once Texas became a state in 1846, the Comanches began pressuring the government to address what they saw as special treatment being given to the Lipans,...

By 1873, so many Texas settlers were complaining that the Lipans in Mexico were crossing the Rio Grande to raid in Texas that the U.S. military decided to take action.

In 1850, a severe smallpox epidemic at San Antonio caused a small Lipan ranchería led by Chief Magoosh to seek refuge with the Mescalero Apaches in New Mexico.

The story of Kesetta and Jack reveals the personal suffering endured by Lipan families who were targeted, month after month, by troop commanders who had, just a decade earlier, fought in some of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War and brought the same scorched earth tactics to bear against the Lipan Apaches....

Lipan Apaches have served proudly and honorably for over 250 years as scouts and soldiers. As early as 1750, the Spanish at San Antonio used Lipan scouts...

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Lipan Apache Tribe
P.O. Box 5218
McAllen, Texas 78502