Dahteste - (pronounced ta-DOT-say) Mescalero Apache

By Julia White
The Apache is another nation of Natives who teach their boys and girls the same skills, leaving the choice of lifestyle to follow an individual decision. Girls who choose the warriors' path are not ridiculed; neither are boys who choose a gentler life - they receive equal praise if they excel in their chosen path.

Dahteste is described as a very beautiful woman who took great pride in her appearance and, even though she married and had children, she chose the life of the warrior. No one challenged Dahteste lightly for it was widely known that she could out-ride, out-shoot, out-hunt, out-run, and out-fight her peers, male and female, and she did so with grace. She was credited as being courageous, daring and skillful, and she took part in battles and raiding parties alongside her husband, and a good friend of her family, Geronimo.

Fluent in English, Dahteste became a trusted scout, messenger and mediator between her people and the U.S. Cavalry. Along with another woman Apache warrior named Lozen, Dahteste was instrumental in the final surrender of Geronimo to the U.S. Government and, as thanks for her efforts in their behalf, she was imprisoned with Geronimo and shipped to prison with his remaining followers. Dahteste was as strong in her personal spirit as her warrior spirit, and she survived both tuberculosis and pneumonia while imprisoned. Both diseases killed untold thousands of Natives across the land, but not Dahteste.

After 8 years in the Florida prison, Dahteste was shipped to the military prison at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. After 19 years at Ft. Sill, she was finally given permission to return to her homeland. She lived the balance of her life on the Mescalero Apache Reservation until she died there of old age.


Return to Powersource