Warriors at Peace (1953)

An overview of daily Apache (White Mountain) life collecting water, cattle grazing, clothing styles and baskets, as well as the performance of a Sunrise Cermony.
Cultural Narrative: 

Counter-narration by Cheyenne Bearfoot, Chiricahua Apache, and graduate of the University of California Santa Cruz. Language of narration is primarily English. Recorded in 2020.


We initially identified this film as Apache, but we now have come to believe the actual title to be Warriors at Peace. [September 10, 2022 - Melissa Dollman]



Library of Congress's Catalog of Copyright Entries, 3rd Series, Vol. 7, Parts 7-11A, No. 1

Traditional Knowledge: 

Title credits: “Avalon Presents”, white road sign with black letters reads “Apache”, Apache/Inde men wearing headdresses and body paint (Crown Dancers) walk in a parade procession down a city street; closer view of a dancer wearing a crown that covers his face with fabric; wide shot of the Gila River Valley; a mission church; wide shot of White Mountains(?) in the distance, rock formations in foreground; wide shots of farmstead and farm windmill; an abandoned and worn out small building; covered wagon train crossing the desert, hills behind; desert landscape with scrubs and tall saguaro cacti; paved road with road sign that says “Cochise” and an arrow pointing left, a car drives past; road signs that read “Apache County” and then “Geronimo”; “El Cochise Motel” neon sign with Indian in headdress; road sign that reads “Cochise Stronghold”; then a view of the Stronghold, rocky and boulder-filled hillside; a woman, man and boy (possibly White Mountain Apache/Łįįnábáha/Łįįnábáha dinéʼiʼ) walking a cross a shallow part of the Gila River; wide shot of the White Mountains; various shots of Gila River around surrounding cliffs and trees; white horse grazing outside a small blue house; a completed conical shaped dried brush covers wickiup; a man building a wickiup, canvas atop, buckets around; view of a wickiup from between cornstalks; closer views of the wickiup; a man on horseback outside a wickiup; the horse and rider come towards the camera and on each use are hanging woven baskets; he dismounts the horse; closer views of the deep, round baskets with fringes hanging down; views of Gila River and trees lining the rocky shoreline; close view of three woven basket: a fringed one like before, a flat one with star design and a woven jug (tus); close ups of another flat basket; close ups of a water jug; close ups of a jar covered in resin; a woman carrying a water jug, a small boy and a dog walk across white rocks to a stream; various shots of the woman seated at the water’s edge filling her jug with a metal dipper; she then stuffs the jug’s opening with a bundle of leaves, packing it in; she gets up and attaches it to her forehead with a cord and walks off; four little girls play and sit near rocks in the river; a herd of cattle crossing the river, ushered by two men on horseback; the cattle continue down the river bank, then up a dirt road; men on horseback herd the cattle into a large coral; two men tackle a cow to the ground, cows behind and fire pit in the foreground; shot of a man holding a branding iron in the fire; close up of a cow being branded; close up of “ID” branded into its fur; various views of a large herd of cattle walking; two men sitting atop a wooden corral fence; another similar shot, with more men watching the cattle in the corral; closer view of the cattle penned into the corral; wide shot of a group of women and girls walking down a dirt road, trees behind, stone wall in foreground; a large group of women from behind, dancing in place; closer views of women dancing; a woman in ceremonial regalia and a younger one in a light yellow satin ceremonial dress, a group of men drumming and chanting behind (Sunrise Ceremony, Girls’ Puberty Ceremony, or Na'ii'ees); close up of the young woman looking downward; two young women dancing in ceremonial dress, men behind, then the camera pulls back to reveal three; a young man sits atop his horse watching; a man rides up on horseback followed by a two younger boys on a donkey, all have large white dots painted on their cheeks; a covered wagon comes down a dirt road, a dog running alongside; a young woman walks carrying a cradleboard on her back; close up of a baby looking at the camera, being held by its smiling mother; shots of same baby sleeping in the cardboard; the mother demonstrating how to strap the baby onto the board; another woman walking with a cradleboard; a toddler boy ambles about with a little cowboy hat and suspenders and jeans; two toddler girls doing the same in their satin and cotton ceremonial dresses; three slightly older girls in calico dresses; a yet older girl poses for the camera in her blue two-piece outfit with beaded ornament (Yoo); two women walk near tents, a dog runs behind; people sitting around a covered wagon; sides of beef hang from ropes between trees; the same hanging from branches; one of the young woman being honored stands before a long line of blankets upon which many baskets and boxes foodstuffs and packaged goods; closer view of goods, then of a toddler girl wailing among the boxes and grabs a box of treats; the young woman dances in place, joined by another young woman, men and boys behind drumming and chanting; close ups of the drumming; various shots of a much older woman dancing along side the young woman; a man, paired with two women dance back in forth, then a group shot of others dancing; another pair of three dances; a group dances, one in front holding a toddler girl; shots of a woman sitting rocking a baby in a cradleboard, she looks directly at the camera; various shots of the woman being honored dancing alongside another woman, the woman accompanying wipes sweat from her face and rests for a bit; the honoree dancing while kneeling on a blanket, hands in air and torso moving with the beat, bowl of yellow pollen nearby; close up of the bowl; shots of the honoree now laying face down on a blanket as her previous dance partner pushes on part of her body; various shots of her then pressing on the prostrate girl with her moccasined foot; the honoree dances surrounded by mostly men; when she’s back dancing next to the much older woman, a man gestures to her; she then leads a group of mainly children running around a cane sticking up from the ground, a man looks on; the younger and older woman run past and away from the camera and a large group of all ages follows; shots of the two women are now surround by adults who are sprinkling pollen the women’s heads; back to shots of them dancing in place; wide shot of the sky at sunset; in a nighttime scene; various shots of Crown Dancers — like were scene in the earlier parade scene — are running dancing in a circle around a fire pit; a young woman (the honoree in different dress?) wearing a Yoo dances with them at points; one Crown Dancers stand with hands on hips; daylight now, a woman walks away from the camera carrying a cradleboard, people mill and walk about; back to the girls from an earlier scene playing on the rocks at the river’s edge; shots of a man on horseback herding cattle across the river, and the cliffs behind; wide shot of cliffs and rock walls, tress, then of one craggy rock formation, then another in silhouette. End credits: “The End, An Avalon Daggett Production, Copyright MCMLIII by Avalon Daggett” over an image of a woman in a dress looking through a motion picture camera eye piece, wind blowing her dress behind her.    

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