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The Apache Language is part of the Athabaskan Language family. They have a matrilineal clan system and all property is owned by women. In times past, they did not have a formal wedding ceremony. An Apache woman simply decided who she wanted to have sex with and took the man into her home. Children were tended to by the woman's family: brothers and uncles. There was no such thing as an illegitimate child because the child belonged to the mother and not the father. There were cases of polyandry, but polygyny was rare. Since the Apache man went to live in the woman's home, and expected to do chores, in order for him to have two wives, he had to do the same chores for both wives. Very few men were able to do this. If an Apache woman wanted to divorce, she'd simply tell the man to leave. At menarche, all girls go through a rite to adulthood known as the Sunrise Ceremony. The ceremony lasts for 4 days and the woman must dance during the four days to show her strength, symbolic of a girl turning into a woman. On the final day of the Ceremony there is a big feast.
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Apache Creation Story
Apache Indians: Handbook of Texas
Apache, Pueblos & Zunis
Athabaskan (Na-Dene) Language Family
Camp Verde Yavapai Apache Indians
Fort Apache Reservation: White Mountains
Sunrise Ceremony: Female Puberty Rite
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