Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Charles E. Orser


The Eastern Apache, once a hunter and gatherer culture group of Native Americans, now reside as a tribe formally recognized by the United States government on the Mescalero Apache Reservation in south central New Mexico. Since Eastern Apache were assigned to the reservation by executive order in 1883, the group has adopted aspects of American culture while maintaining Eastern Apache landscape patterns. This dissertation examines Eastern Apache landscape patterns prior to and after reservation assignment with the use of geographical, historical, ethnographic, and economic data. While United States Indian policy has emphasized culture change, Eastern Apache landscape patterns of land occupation, communal land management, seasonal work patterns, and matrilocal settlement are evident on the reservation. Analysis of the data indicate Mescalero Apache adaptive use of land and federal policies to create a modern landscape based on patterns similar to the Eastern Apaches' proto-historical period.