Western Life

Geronimo

You may have heard the exclamation Geronimo in action movies or in some other media form at some point. It is basically a cry that is exclaimed by the United States army prior to engage in airborne activity. Geronimo is used by skydivers and those who are about to jump from considerable heights. It is supposed to convey a message of exhilaration as the person is about to engage in some daredevil activity.

However, there is significantly more history attached to the name Geronimo. He was a Bedonkohe Apache leader of the Chiricahua tribe in the 19th century. He is best known for spearheading his clan’s defence against the United States military nearly two centuries ago.

His Story

Geronimo was born in 1829 in Mexico. He was instrumental in leading his people in their quest to resist encroachment from white colonies in the Southwest region of their homeland. During his time as a warrior, Geronimo was involved in raids into Sonora and Chihuahua in Mexico.

Long before he gained legendary status, Geronimo was a talented hunter. According to one story, he devoured the heart of his first prey in a bid to ensure that he would be blessed with success on the battlefield.

Since he hailed from the Bedonkohe, which was one of the smallest tribes in the region, Geronimo spent so much time on the run that it defined his way of life. The Bedonkohe clan were continuously surrounded by enemies, which included not just white folk, but Mexican tribes such as the Navajo and Comanches as well.

Naturally, his way of living meant that the tribe would often resort to different means of accumulating nourishment and supplies in order to survive. Therefore, Geronimo and his tribe would often carry out raids of their neighbors.

Unfortunately, this led to the government placing a bounty on them. At the time, a handsome reward of twenty-five dollars was on offer for each scalp. However, this maneuver did not deter Geronimo and his fearless clan. They continued planning and executing raids when they saw fit.

It was in this era that Geronimo found his soul mate, a woman named Alope. They got married and had three children. Unfortunately, domestic bliss did not last for too long. While Geronimo was out completing some trading business, Mexican soldiers got word of his absence and pounced.

They attacked his base and began plundering and pillaging his camp. Sadly, by the time Geronimo was able to return, he was met with the cold corpses of his wife and young children, compounding his misery.

This began Geronimo’s search for vengeance. As per tradition, he set fire to his home and whatever remained of his belongings and walked into the forest to grieve the bereavements he had suffered.

Over the next decade, Geronimo led a force of approximately 200 brave men in his crusade against the Mexican soldiers. Ultimately, he was able to exact revenge against those who had wronged him.

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