Big Sycamore Stands Alone

Big Sycamore Stands Alone

The Western Apaches, Aravaipa, and the Struggle for Place

Book - 2008
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Univ of Oklahoma Pr

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.


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.


Book News
Record (American Indian studies, U. of Arizona) explores the complex relationship between the people and the Aravaipa Canyon in Arizona that they consider their sacred homeland. He discusses that relationship since the establishment of the San Carlos Reservation, and the people's pre-reservation struggle to maintain that connection in the face of hostility from others. Other narrative threads woven through the study are personal stories of contemporary Apaches and their relationship to Aravaipa, and an explanation of the sophisticated subsistence system governing pre-reservation Western Apache society. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c2008
ISBN: 9780806139722
0806139722
Branch Call Number: 979.00497 R2453b 2008
Characteristics: xiv, 383 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm

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