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one of several divisions within the Apache tribe of North American Indians. At the time of Spanish colonial contact, the Chiricahua lived in what are now the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Originally a nomadic people, they faced severe pressures from settlers and an expansionist U.S. government in the second half of the 19th century. As a result, they were forced onto reservations and other restricted sites-first on the Arizona-New Mexico border, then in Florida and Alabama, and finally in Oklahoma and south-central New Mexico.