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This study examines the American mythmaking of late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Apache 'renegades' and their post—Apache Wars counterpart the Apache 'bronchos' in popular culture and memory. The idea of the 'broncho' Apache created fear, insecurity, and cautionary folklore for residents of the American Southwest and northern Mexico from 1886—1930s. Over time, white appropriations of Apaches in literature, film, and pop culture would evolve from the murderous wild 'savage,' to the sympathetic anti-hero, to the hero. This thesis connects representations of Apaches with contemporaneous American attitudes on race, masculinity, nostalgia. Although portrayals of Apaches changed over time, an underlying theme of the American white male's gender and racial superiority remained in place—reinforcing images of manhood in the mythic West and failing to accurately depict historic Apache individuals and historical events. The study, broken into three chapters, focuses on several mediums and aspects of Apache renegade/broncho mythologization. The first chapter largely centers on Massai, a historical Apache 'broncho,' and newspaper, military, and first-hand white and Apache accounts from the 'broncho period. The second analyzes representations of Apaches in film and literature. And the third surveys the historiography of Apache 'renegades.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Ball, Durwood

Second Committee Member

Samuel, Truett



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