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Geronimo, Apache: A Defined Leader Essay

Geronimo, or Goyathlay, was a great leader from the Native American Bendokohe Apache tribe. Although Geronimo was not a chief, the tribe depended on the wisdom of his position as medicine man. Geronimo gathered such influence that he led the last force to formally capitulate to the United States by upholding the core Apache values that embody aspects that define a leader: aggressiveness, diligence, and courage.

Geronimo displayed the core values of the Apache tribe, that of courage, diligence, and aggressiveness. These core values were what kept them relatively safe from the increasing white settlement of the west, including Arizona and New Mexico (theinitialjourney.com.) Aggressiveness, or assertiveness, and diligence are key aspects of a leader. A leader must be assertive as well as persistent in order to maintain a certain level of self-confidence and influence over those who are being led, even in the face of adversity. Geronimo was a great example of an assertive leader. Geronimo led the last major Native American Fighting force to surrender to the United States; thus having the longest resistance period. Upon the discovery that his mother, wife, and his three young children had been murdered by Spanish troops, he vowed to avenge his family by retaliating against as many Mexican settlements as possible. It was not until this time that he received his ‘power’ of seeing visions (Indigenouspeople.net.)

It was because Geronimo held out the fight for so long, that he became the most famous Apache of all. By asserting himself and applying himself in order to uphold his values of family and justice, Geronimo became an essential force as medicine man, acting in and out of combat as a spiritual and intellectual leader of the people (not a chief.) He escaped from a reservation three times, the final time bringing thirty five warriors and one hundred nine women and children into freedom. It was through these acts that Geronimo transcended above and beyond advisor. Geronimo became an icon of freedom and persistence in the face of difficulty (indiginouspeople.net.) Through assertiveness and diligence, Geronimo led his people towards their goal of freedom, also exhibiting another leadership trait: courage.

Geronimo was exceptionally courageous in the face of difficulty. After vowing to avenge his family and tribe after their murder was an extreme test of character and will. It was a desire for freedom that continued his ability to evade capture. “Geronimo, the most legendary Apache war leader, along with seventeen warriors, fourteen women, and six children had evaded capture despite pursuit by 5,000 U.S. troops, 3,000 Mexican soldiers, and numerous Indian scouts for more than six months. To the U.S. Army and the settlers in the area, the supremely resilient and determined Geronimo had personified the Apache problem and every raid on a village or wagon train was attributed to him. In the years following his surrender, Geronimo came to personify resilience in the face of overwhelming odds.” Tfaoi.com

Geronimo became a legendary force against the involuntary capture of Native American Apaches. His courage against adversity compelled many to follow him. His statements of “coming from a land with no enclosures” inspired people to follow a dream of living simply as they once did; without white influence (indigenouspeople.net.) It was though this notion of courage to follow one’s true intuition in life.

Geronimo was an exceptional leader, exuding leadership through the qualities of assertiveness, diligence, and courage. Geronimo led his people to freedom against white influence many a time over, evading capture the longest out of all Native American fighting forces. It was through diligence in repetition of effort, assertiveness of his character and moral intuition, and courage in the face of danger and difficulty that makes Geronimo a great leader.

Works Cited:
www.indigenouspeople.net/geronimo.htm
http://www.tfaoi.com/aa/4aa/4aa494b.htm
www.theinitialjourney.com/features/geronimo_01.html


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