Thursday, October 15, 2015

Apache Camouflage

Design © Roy R. Behrens, from Edward Curtis photograph
From John G. Bourke, On the Border with Crook. Lincoln NE: University of Nebraska Press, 1971 (originally published in 1891), p. 37—

They [Apache warriors] knew how to disguise themselves so thoroughly that one might almost step upon a warrior thus occupied before he could detect his presence. Stripped naked, with head and shoulders wrapped up in a bundle of yucca shoots or sacaton grass [sporobolus or dropseed grass], and with body rubbed over with clay or sand along which it wriggled as sinuously and as venomously as the rattler itself, the Apache could and did approach to within earshot of the whites, and even entered the enclosures of the military camps, as at [Forts] Grant and Crittenden, where we on several occasions discovered his footprints alongside the ollas, or water jars.