The annual Blessing Run in Mescalero continued to pay homage to the customs and the culture, members of the Mescalero Apache Tribe said they treasured for centuries.
The run, which occurs each April on the Mescalero Reservation, involves delivery of a sacred pouch, which is handed off from one runner and horseback rider to another until it arrives at the Mescalero Schools.
The run occurs in early April to acknowledge that although the Creator gave the tribe this spectacular country in which to live, that gift requires the tribe to care for it properly, according to tribal elders.
“It is our Apache belief that we are dependent (our culture and life) on our resources such as the Earth, Water, Air and so on,” a tribal member wrote about the run. “We are constantly reminded that Apaches must continue to pray to receive goodness from our resources. By running, we believe we are sacrificing our time, our energy and our spirit to give thanks to our beautiful land, our wonderful animals and our environment.
“It really touches your heart when you are out there and running your heart out, not for time or for competition, but for the goodness of your homelands.”
Established in 1873, the Mescalero Apache Reservation covers 720 square miles in Otero County and adjoins the village of Ruidoso in Lincoln County. The tribe consists of more than 4,000 members.
Besides the blessing run, another special celebration is the rite of passage of a tribal maiden, usually celebrated in the summer with a large gathering of family and friends.
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