Nakaidokilini (d. 1881)
Nakaidokilini or Nochaydel-klinne was an Apache visionary
who emerged in 1881 during the time that the U.S. government’s
attempts at pacification of the Native American population
was being hampered by Geronimo. During a lull in the ongoing
hostilities, Nakaidokilini emerged claiming that he
possessed power to raise the dead and that he regularly communed
with spirit entities. He also brought the welcome message
that the whites would soon be driven from the land. From
his spirit contacts he had learned a dance that he taught his followers.
With Nakaidokilini assuming a position in the center,
dancers would be arranged in lines outward, much as spokes on
a wagon wheel. They faced inward and as they moved in a circular
pattern around him, he sprinkled them with hoddentin, a sacred
yellow powder made from the pollen of the tule-rush, a
plant widely used by the Apache.
In June of 1881, he asserted his position by offering to raise
two prominent Apache chiefs who had been recently killed, if
a sufficient number of blankets and horses were brought to
him. The excited Apache accumulated the horses and blankets
with the understanding that they would seek the return of their
property if the chiefs did not reappear. Nakaidokilini began his
spiritual work and the dancers kept up the new dance they had
been taught. After a few days, the prophet announced that the
chiefs would not return until the whites were out of the land,
and that they would be gone before the corn was ripe (it was already
July).
The antiwhite statements called the government’s attention
to the prophet and his followers, and white officials decided to
arrest him. They had learned that at the end of August he was
to make an appearance at the area designated for the dancing.
Eighty-six soldiers and 26 Native scouts arrived at the spot and
placed Nakaidokilini under arrest. On their way back to their
post, the soldiers were attacked, with their scouts joining the at1087
tackers. They fought off their attackers, but in the process
Nakaidokilini was killed. His movement soon fell apart.
Sources:
Debo, Angie. A History of the Indians of the United States. Norman:
University of Oklahoma Press, 1970.
Mooney, James. ‘‘The Ghost-Dance Religion and the Sioux
Outbreak of 1890.’’ In the Fourteenth Annual Report of the Bureau
of Ethnology. Compiled by J. W. Powell. Washington: Government
Printing Office, 1896.

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