Nana (chief)

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Kas-tziden (“Broken Foot”) or Haškɛnadɨltla (“Angry, He is Agitated”), more widely known by his Mexican-Spanish appellation Nana (“grandma” or “lullaby”) (1800? – May 19, 1896), was a warrior and chief of the Chihenne band (better known as Warm Springs Apache) of the Chiricahua Apache. In the 1850s and 1860s he was one of the best known leaders of the Bedonkohe and Chihenne, along with Tudeevia (Dudeevia, better known as Delgadito - “Little Thin”, “Skinny”),[1] Cuchillo Negro, Ponce and Loco (“crazy”, “mad”). He was a nephew of Delgadito, and married a sister of Geronimo.


Captain John Gregory Bourke described Nana as having "a strong face marked with intelligence, courage and good nature, but with an under stratum of cruelty and vindictiveness".[2] Charles Fletcher Lummis claimed that Nana wore gold watch chains in each ear lobe, presumably taken from dead victims.[3][4]

Early Fights[edit]

He fought alongside Mangas Coloradas and his mixed Chihenne-Bedonkohe band until Mangas was killed while in the custody of the California militia in January 1863. In Mexico he undertook many joint raids with the Nednhi of Juh and Natiza against the Mexicans. After Ponce, Cuchillo Negro and Delgadito were killed too, Victorio took over the Chihenne leadership, joined by the leaderless Bedonkohe. Nana, although at least 20 years older than Victorio, married the latter's elder sister, cementing his position as a leader.[5]

Victorio's War[edit]

After several failed attempts to peacefully live on a reservation in their own country, Victorio and Nana gave up trying and fought back against the Americans and Mexicans. The Bedonkohe and Chihenne were joined by more than 80 warriors of the Mescalero Apache under their old chief Caballero and some Comanche of the Southern Plains. Victorio and Nana therefore had about 200 warriors.[6]

During the Apache Wars and especially Victorio's War he raided areas of Texas and Mexico with Victorio until Victorio and his band were surrounded and killed by soldiers of the Mexican Army under Joaquin Terrazas at Cerro Tres Castillos in 1880. 68 women and children were captured by the Mexicans and sold as slaves in Mexico.[6]

Nana’s Raid[edit]

Nana and his followers, counting only about 30 warriors, had been able to escape and hid in the Sierra Madre, because they had been on a scouting mission. After the death of Victorio several prestigious leaders and warriors such as Fun (Yiy-gholl, Yiy-joll, Yiy-zholl, also known as Larry Fun), Ka-ya-ten-nae (Ka-e-te-nay, Kadhateni or Kieta - "Fights Without Arrows", "Cartridges All Gone") took the leadership of the Chihenne, Bedonkohe and south of the Mexico–US border living Chokonen and Nednhi bands beside the already established leaders Nana, Loco, Mangas, Naiche, Geronimo and Juh. Nana, now almost 80 years old (according to some reports, nearly 90-years), formed his own war party with the Chihenne (Warm Springs Apache), enlisting loitering warriors in the reservations. His band joined by 15 Chokonen and 12 Mescalero warriors, began raiding Army supply trains and isolated settlers. In less than a month Nana fought eight battles stretching over the course of 1,000 miles and killed 30-40 Americans, at least as many Mexicans, captured about 200 horses to replace 100 ridden to death and then fled back to Mexico. He escaped more than 1,000 soldiers, not counting the three or four hundred militia volunteers and Indian Scouts.[7][8][9]

Nana’s Death[edit]

Nana survived the Apache Wars, upon surrender in March 1886 he was first sent to the American Southeast; here the Chiricahuas were prisoners of war in military installations in Florida and Alabama.[10] In 1894, they were relocated to Fort Sill in the Indian Territory, present-day Oklahoma. Nana died of natural causes two years later, in 1896.[11][12]


Nana is unique among the war chiefs. In an age where one left the fighting to the younger warriors, he had a tenacity, stamina, courage and cruelty, which characterized a true Apache warrior. Nana was half blind, crooked from arthritis and moved the foot behind, but once he sat in the saddle, he rode "like the devil." Nana was the last great, free leader (Nantan) of the Chihenne.[6]


  1. ^ Fort Sill Apache Tribal Leaders
  2. ^ Bourke, John Gregory (1886). An Apache Campaign in the Sierra Madre: An Account of the Expedition in Pursuit of the Hostile Chiricahua Apaches in the Spring of 1883. C. Scribner's sons. p. 99. 
  3. ^ Hodge, Frederick Webb (1912). Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico: N-Z. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 19. 
  4. ^ Lummis, Charles Fletcher (1893). Land of Poco Tiempo. p. 178. 
  5. ^ Hutton, Paul Andrew (3 May 2016). The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started the Longest War in American History. Crown/Archetype. pp. 44, 60, 276. ISBN 978-0-7704-3582-0. 
  6. ^ a b c Roberts, David (19 July 1994). Once They Moved Like The Wind: Cochise, Geronimo, And The Apache Wars. Simon and Schuster. pp. 190–196. ISBN 978-0-671-88556-4. 
  7. ^ Nana's Raid — Apaches in Socorro County
  8. ^ Lekson, Stephen H. (1987). Nana's Raid: Apache Warfare in Southern New Mexico, 1881. Texas Western Press, University of Texas at El Paso. ISBN 978-0-87404-159-0. 
  9. ^ Wellman, Paul Iselin (January 1987). "The Raid of Old Nana". Death in the Desert: The Fifty Years' War for the Great Southwest. U of Nebraska Press. pp. 195–205. ISBN 0-8032-9722-X. 
  10. ^ Watt, Robert (20 January 2012). Apache Tactics 1830–86. Bloomsbury Publishing. pp. 11–12. ISBN 978-1-84908-631-8. 
  11. ^ Thrapp, Dan L. (1 August 1991). Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography: G-O. U of Nebraska Press. pp. 1038–1039. ISBN 0-8032-9419-0. 
  12. ^ Fredriksen, John C. (2001). America's Military Adversaries: From Colonial Times to the Present. ABC-CLIO. p. 348. ISBN 978-1-57607-603-3. 


  • Nana's Raid: Apache Warfare in Southern New Mexico, 1881 (Lekson, 1987)

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