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Mangas Coloradas

Born: c. 1792
Birthplace: New Mexico
Died: 18-Jan-1863
Location of death: Fort McLane, NM
Cause of death: War
Remains: Buried, Mangas Cemetery, Grant County, NM

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: American Aborigine
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Military

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Apache Chief and warrior

A native American of the Chiricahua Apache tribe, Mangas Coloradas saw encroachment of his people's land from two directions -- white settlers from the East, and Spaniards from the South. Born somewhere in what is now New Mexico in the early 1790s, he was said by some to be half-Mexican, and he took a Mexican woman as one of his three wives, but his loyalties were entirely with the Apache against the invaders. His name, in Spanish, means Colored Sleeves, testament to the red shirts he usually wore.

Coloradas became Chief in 1837, and led his men on attacks against settling Spaniards and supply trains, and a blockade of the town of Santa Rita, New Mexico. When the United States took control of the area, he signed a peace treaty and vanished from the warpath, but after marauding miners killed four Apache he returned as one of the most ruthless and violent of his era's natives. In 1861, he was joined in battle by his son-in-law and eventual successor, Cochise, and the following year, when Coloradas was about 69 years old, he was shot and wounded. He sent an intermediary to arrange peace talks with U.S. military officials at Fort McLane in New Mexico, but when the Chief arrived he was shackled, tortured, and killed, purportedly while trying to escape. The following morning the head was severed from his corpse and sent to a phrenologist (skull scientist) in New York City. The murder of Coloradas and mutilation of his body, of course, inspired many more years of bloodshed.

Wife: Firefly
Wife: Placid
Wife: Tu-es-seh
Daughter: Dos-teh-seh (m. Cochise)

    Shot: Battle chest (1862)
    Taken Prisoner of War Jan-1863 (killed)
    Apache Ancestry



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