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Chaco Culture National Historical Park | Continental Divide | Jicarilla Apache Reservation Centennial Highway | Jicarilla Apache Reservation Centennial Highway | Jicarilla Apache Reservation Centennial Highway | Jicarilla Apache Reservation Centennial Highway | Jicarilla Apache Reservation | San Juan Basin
Chaco Canyon contains hundreds of sites documenting its Indian occupation from 5000 B.C. through the early 20th century. Most spectacular are a dozen large and excellently crafted masonry pueblos of the 11th and 12th centuries. After its abandonment around 1300, the canyon was settled by Navajos from the early 1700s until the 1940s.
Rainfall divides at this point. To the west it drains into the Pacific Ocean, to the east, into the Atlantic.
During the 19th century, the United States government attempted to establish reservations to separate Indian tribes from settlers along the frontier. The Jicarilla Apache initially agreed to settle on a reservation in 1851, but unratified treaties and local political squabbles hampered the process of obtaining a reservation for 36 years. President Grover Cleveland finally issued the Executive Order which established a permanent home for the Jicarilla on February 11, 1887.
The Jicarilla Apache, a Southern Athabascan people, migrated to the southwest from northwest Canada. The Jicarilla Apache's pre-reservation homeland ranged from southeastern Colorado through northeastern New Mexico, to the Texas/Oklahoma panhandle. The Jicarilla Apache named by the Spanish for the reed baskets they wove, are composed of two clans-the Llanero (plains) and other Ollero (mountain).
The Jicarilla Apache Reservation was established on February 11, 1887 by Executive Order of President Grover Cleveland. The Dulce are, then known as Amargo, had served as a reservation for the Jicarilla from 1882 to 1883, at which time they were removed to Mescalero, in southern New Mexico. The Jicarilla began their trek back from Mescalero on April 25, 1887 and arrived at their new homeland in early June 1887.
The Jicarilla Apache Tribe commemorated the Centennial Anniversary of their present reservation on February 11, 1987. The Centennial was also observed at the annual Little Beaver Pow-wow and Round-up in July and the Go-Jii-Ya Fiesta September 13-15. The Jicarilla Apache Centennial Wagon Trek, a 200 mile horse and wagon journey from Cimarron to Dulce, was undertaken May 26 - June 14, 1987, to acknowledge earlier homelands around Cimarron, Taos, and Abiquiu.
The Jicarilla Apaches, primarily a hunting and gathering group, once occupied vast portions of northeastern New Mexico and southern Colorado. Pressure from Comanche Indians and European settlers eventually pushed them from their homeland. In 1887, the Jicarillas were given a permanent reservation in north-central New Mexico, near Dulce.
Thousands of feet of sedimentary strata have been downwarped into the San Juan basin of northwestern New Mexico, a total area of some 20,000 square miles. The San Pedro and Namimiento Ranges of the Southern Rockies rise in fault contact above the basin to elevations of more than 10,000 feet.