Native American super natural power

Tyson   “It was during spring break, during high school I think and we used to go to Arizona to visit our friends there, except the spring breaks don’t line up. So, we don’t do that anymore. But last summer we did go and uh, usually we go to Tucson, but this time we went up to this place called Show Low. It’s more northern in Arizona and it’s in the mountains so it’s cooler, there’s like pine trees and stuff. And um, are friend, our two friends who live there, one of them is the is the, one of them was getting really old and um, er, she has problems with Parkinson’s disease and um, so um, like the two friends, the one who was still healthy brought in a helper, who is this native American woman, who has like, three kids and like, was really fun to talk to and she was pretty young too. Um, it was really interesting talking to her. One thing she told us was that like, apparently like, she, what she said was that the people of the white mountains, which is like what it’s called I think, have like, a higher proclivity toward having mystical powers or like mystical insight into like, spirits and stuff or something. And she was saying how like, she was walking in like the mountains of something, when she was a little girl and she like, saw some vision or something.  I don’t know, it was pretty interesting to hear her talk about it. And how like, uh, I don’t know, there’s history in the mountains or something.”

AO(interviewer)  “Do you know, like, what kind of vision she had?”

Tyson    “I’m trying to remember what she said. She talked about it for awhile. It was about, like. It mighta had to do with, it might have had to have done with like, a death in the family or something. But I’m not entirely sure, maybe a grandparent or some cousin or something was dying and she like, said that she knew it. I don’t quite remember. She said it was really scary.”

AO   “So like, they go up to the mountains, and they like can sense things from there or just by living in the mountains they can…”

Tyson   “Well it’s like, she said it’s, the mountain people as opposed to the people from the plains. Cause there’s like the different Indian tribes that are from the plains down below where its desert but then she said like, the people in the mountains are different.”

AO  “I see, is she from the mountains?”

Tyson   “Yep she’s from the mountains. I think it’s near an Indian reservation. Whether it is or not, there’s a lot of indigenous, there’s a lot of Native Americans in this area. It’s interesting because there’s like different, people who are descended from different tribes. Like I think there was some Navaho, maybe. That might be wrong, I don’t remember but, I get the names confused. There was two different ones, and she was telling us how like, they fight within themselves. It’s almost like gangs.”

I was able to discover through some research that the Tyson was talking about the White Mountain Apaches of Arizona.  Despite being a subtribe of the western Apache and having influences from the Navajo, there is a much greater emphasis on the individual and autonomy in White Mountain Apache culture.  This is in contrast to other neighboring Native American cultures.  Because of this, the super natural powers the Apache possess are often neutral in nature, and can be used on the individual nature.  By neutral, I mean the power is not used to see or act upon forces of good or evil.  This is evident in the narrative Tyson descibed; the woman claims she experienced a visionary moment in youth in which she forsaw a relatives death.  While this is not a particulary happy vision to have, it is a personal one, as opposed to some large scale disaster. 

Additionally, this difference between the culture of the White Mountain Apache and their neighbors might help instill the fighting that Tyson said the Apache woman told him about.  Every culture has their own way of life, set of values.  It is important to the White Mountain Apache that they have visions of this type, while other Native American tribes nearby do not. They are able to set themeselves apart and keep their identities alive.