Harlyn Geronimo was born in 1947, is an Apache medicine man and the great-grandson of the famous Chiricahua Apache warrior Geronimo. He lives on a reservation in New-Mexico with his wife and family where he carries on the traditions and customs of the Apache Native Americans (also known as American Indians). In 1918, President George H. W. Bush’s father Prescott Bush decimated Geronimo’s tomb and stole his skull and bones and took them back to Yale University as a memento for the "Bonesman" society, one of the many secret Yale societies. Haryln Geronimo has been trying for years to convince the society at Yale to return the remains of his great-grandfather in order for him to be able to give his great-grandfather the proper burial and respect.
Harlyn has appeared in dozens of news programs and TV shows pertaining to Geronimo and the Apache Native Americans.
George W. Bush has yet to honour Harlyn Geronimo’s request.
- Geronimo, une mémoire apache (Albin Michel, 2008) entretiens avec Corine Sombrun
Synopsis of Geronimo, une mémoire apache (Albin Michel, 2008) (not available in English)
Geronimo was one of the last warriors to put down his weapons at the end of the Indian wars and only after having stood up to a good half of the American Army with only a few braves. In spite of all the promises made to him, he never again saw his native Arizona as himself and his relatives and friends were held as war prisoners for twenty-seven years. His last wishes were never granted ; his remains were buried in the military cemetery at Fort Sill in Oklahoma where he eventually died and where his tomb was most probably desecrated. Harlyn Geronimo, his great-grandson and only descendant is still trying to have his ancestor’s last wishes granted.
Corine Sombrun met with him for the first time in 2005 in New Mexico. That was the start of a book-writing project between a French woman and an Apache. In the course of the narrative, we will hear Geronimo’s life story as it has never been told. Corine Sombrun gives the reader a vivid rendering of this meeting with Geronimo’s great-grandson. Over the course of a trip to the source of the Gala River, Geronimo’s birthplace, the reader learns about Harlyn’s life – Vietnam, his political involvement, his cultural resistance, his commitment to youth, his spirituality and his art – as well as the living conditions of the Apaches today, their hopes and the challenges they are facing. For both the indomitable warrior and his descendant, being an Apache is first and foremost a lesson in how to live : ’Bi da a naka enda – Be as brave as your ancestors and face your enemy.’