Big Sycamore Stands Alone: The Western Apaches, Aravaipa, and the Struggle for Place

Citation

Record, Ian. 2008. Big Sycamore Stands Alone: The Western Apaches, Aravaipa, and the Struggle for Place. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Western Apaches have long regarded the corner of Arizona encompassing Aravaipa Canyon as their sacred homeland. This book examines the evolving relationship between this people and this place, illustrating the enduring power of Aravaipa to shape and sustain contemporary Apache society.

Big Sycamore Stands Alone: The Western Apaches, Aravaipa, and the Struggle for Place articulates Aravaipa’s cultural legacy as seen through the eyes of some of its descendants, bringing Apache voices, knowledge, and perspectives to the fore. Focusing on the Camp Grant Massacre as its narrative centerpiece, Ian Record employs a unique approach that reflects how the Apaches conceptualize their history and identity, interweaving four distinct narrative threads: contemporary oral histories of individuals from the San Carlos reservation, historic documentation of Apache relationships to Aravaipa following the reservation’s establishment, descriptions of pre-reservation subsistence practices, and a history of early Apache struggles to maintain their connection with Aravaipa in the face of hostility from outsiders.

In addition, Record has mined the research notes of Grenville Goodwin to document important elements of Apache economic, political, and social organization in pre-reservation times.

A landmark ethnohistory, Big Sycamore Stands Alone documents a story that goes far beyond Cochise, Geronimo, and the Chiricahuas. Record’s work is a trailblazing synthesis of historical and anthropological materials that lends new insight into the relationship between people and place.

You can find the book here.

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