Monday, February 11, 2013

The Legend of Apache Tears

Once when I was little, my mother told me a story...the Legend of the Apache Tears. I believe I was in third grade at the time, and I remember being so moved by the story that my mother told me. The reason she told me the story was because she had a bracelet that she called Apache Tears, and I wanted to take that bracelet to school for Show & Tell. She told me that I would first need to know the Legend of the Apache Tears so that I could share it with my class.

Mom told me the story of 75 brave Apache warriors who were camped on a mountain, and who were attacked by soldiers of the U.S. Cavalry. In the sneak attack, 50 of the Apaches were killed within minutes, while those that remained retreated to the edge of a cliff. Realizing that they had nowhere to go, the remaining warriors chose to leap to their death, rather than to die at the hands of the white man.

Apache Leap Apache Tears
The Mountain Known as 'Apache Leap'

When the women and children discovered their beloved husbands, fathers, and sons dead at the bottom of the cliff, they began to weep. And as their tears fell, black stones were formed on the white, sandy earth for every tear that hit the ground. These are Apache Tears.

Apache Tears Obsidian

Legend has it that anyone who has any of the stones, the Apache Tears, should never need to cry again...because the Apache women cried enough tears for all who mourn. Some believe that the stones themselves carry spiritual and healing powers.

Mom's bracelet had Apache Tears (Obsidian) all the way around it on a silver chain base. I wish I'd found this bracelet after Mom passed away last year. Sadly, I didn't, but I never forgot the Legend of the Apache Tears.