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Photographer's Note

Perched atop a ridge inside a haggard, modified, convertible jeep and consumed with peace, silence and searing 100 degree weather I sit in solitude, comforting a Winchester Model 94 lever action 30-30 (the gun that won the West).

Just west of Three Rivers, Texas and within an hour of Mexico I simply sit back and absorb the arid, rugged, unforgiving and vast land of South Texas, imagining for a moment what is must have been like as an American pioneer traveling through the once trecherous Indian territory.

The Apaches dominated almost all of West Texas and ranged over a wide area from Arkansas to Arizona. Two groups of Apaches, the Lipans and the Mescalaros, were of primary importance in Texas. Apaches were among the first Indians to learn to ride horses and lived a nomadic existence following the buffalo. They also farmed, growing maize, beans, pumpkins, and watermelons. During the era of Spanish rule, the Apaches staged constant raids against the Spanish missions. But as the 1700s wore on, they found themselves subject to raiding from the even more fearsome Comanches. Eventually, they entered an on-again, off-again relationship with the Spanish, sometimes warring and raiding, other times allying with the Spanish against the Comanches and other enemies.

When Anglo Americans began moving into Texas, the Apaches cultivated a friendship with them as a bulwark against the Comanches. This friendship broke down in 1842, perhaps because of the unsolved murder of a Lipan chief named Flacco the Younger, whom the Lipans believed was killed by whites. Lipan and Mescalaro Apaches moved across the Mexican border and began a series of destructive border raids that lasted for decades. It was not until 1873 that the U.S. Army under Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie led a force into Mexico, destroyed the Apache villages, and forced the survivors onto a reservation in New Mexico.
(ref: http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/exhibits/indian/intro/page2.html).

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