Traditional Apaches had no laws, police, judges, or jails. So how did they maintain social order?

During peacetime, older people passed down a code of honor to younger ones by oral tradition and example. In the late 1900s, an Apache explained the code of conduct in this way:

“Good conduct is the result of obeying the customs, and it is up to the person….A man would come to a bad end in the old days [if] he violated the customs….

If you obey all the rules, you get along all right….But if a person doesn’t take hold of the customs, if he cuts loose, if he doesn’t treat other people right, he has no chance.

Then the others do not help him. He is alone. He is bound to come to a bad end and perhaps be killed. A person just has to observe certain things. They aren’t laws—they are strong, we don’t need laws.”
Source—Michael E. Melody, Indians of North America: The Apache, p. 31

Responses to "The Apache Code of Honor"

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. The mark of a truly civilized people.

  3. Unknown says:

    It is so nice to see my ancestor captain Chiquito Bullis and his wife among the photos of other Apaches. It is because my ancestors had honor, strength, endurance, and that is why I am here today. I remember my uncle Perry would sing that song with his traditional drum as well when I was little growing up. Thank You for sharing this. "Apaches are strong, we don't need laws"

  4. Unknown says:

    And this shows how close the natives were to the Great Spirit. To have this balance, and simplicity in life. And they all had this appreciation, even the other tribes. They knew the right way, Gods way of doing things from the start.

  5. Unknown says:

    This is white supremacy's greatest crime against mankind. Non-European cultures around the world SHARED THE SAME WISDOM. It is the UNCIVILIZED EUROPEANS WHO have disrupted the natural order.

  6. I have always admired Nstive Americans and I am sad for the treatment they recieve.Unfortunatly there has always been humans who want to control and dominate others.There injustice has not been just race against race.

  7. Typo.."Native Americans"

  8. Unknown says:

    Hey ya hey ya hay ya ho.. my long lost tribe

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