Captured By The Apache: The Amazing Role Of Women In The Tribe

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Some fine examples of the remarkable baskets which the Apache women weaved:

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Howdy folks and greetings from the Great Plains of North Texas!

Recap

We're in a series about the Wild West and the story of an 11 year old German boy, Hermann, who was captured by an Apache war party from his family's farm in 1870 in Central Texas.

By this time in the story Hermann has been with the Apache for probably 6 months and has become, through great pain and training, a bonafide tribe member and warrior.

In the last post the Apache and Comanche chiefs agreed to make peace between them and focus on defeating the Palefaces together.

Hermann doesn't talk much about girls or the women of the tribe except when he talked about the chief's wife who adopted him as her own, for which he was extremely grateful.

A beautiful girl for a saddle? No thanks!

But otherwise he didn't say much because at 11 years old at the time he wasn't interested in girls yet. He was even offered a pretty girl for a saddle he'd stolen and turned it down!

Lol..he had no idea how good a deal that was but he wasn't ready to get married.

It was probably a relief to the girl too. She was probably like..."great, ya mean I gotta marry this scrawny white boy???"

Today's story

At any rate, since women have been mentioned a few times I thought I'd share what I found out about the role of the tribe females, this is information taken from interviews of Apache women and all tribes seemed to be different and there were many different tribes and sub-tribes so these are just general traditions.

From what I understand there are still over 500 different American Indian tribes in this country so one of them may read this and say that's TOTALLY different from our tribe and heritage. But speaking in a general sense about the Apache it looks to me like the women did all the work.

Sure, the men hunted for game and had the role of warriors to fight the enemies and protect the villages. And they spent a great deal of time training, hunting, guarding, scouting, and things of that nature.

Gather and store food for the winter

But the Apache women's role was to find food and prepare it. We're talking about plant food like nuts, roots, berries and the like. They had to forage for those and prepare them. The most important plant source, at least for the tribes in the desert climates were the Agave plant.

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I had no idea about this but they would cut out the heart of the plant and roast them in large pits and when they were thoroughly roasted they'd lay them out to dry. This was a main source of food for the winter months. I wonder what those tasted like?

They were the home builders

Some homes were beautiful grass huts and some were tepees. They also made huts covered with cloth like the one showed here called a wickiup, with two Apache women:

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This photo was taken in 1880, apparently after they were moved onto worthless scrub desert land, look at that landscape. But anyway, the women would all get together and help each other build their homes.

It also was their job to tan the hides of the buffalo and other animals and make the clothing. They were the healers of the tribe too and knew which herbs to gather and how to prepare them for various medicinal purposes.

Tragically, I think most of this knowledge has been lost.

Keepers of the Way

The Apache women were the given the responsibility of learning all the history, customs, culture and ways of the Apache and to pass that knowledge down to the next generation. All the traditions of her family and tribe. So because of that role, they were the center of their culture.

Having and raising the children

No comment necessary, everyone knows how hard that is! Can you imagine doing it without electricity and modern facilities?

Cooking, cleaning and water

Of course they also had to perform the daily chores of cooking the food, cleaning, washing the utensils and a big one here is hauling water. Everyone knows how heavy water is right?

Well, they had no wells or running water so it had to be hauled from the nearest stream, river or lake, which could be a good distance. That's some brutal work.

Here's a photo of a little girl with a water basket. It's hard to believe that she'd be able to carry that on her head when it's full:

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That's an amazing basket she has but it gives me a headeache just looking at it!

Here's another basket rigged up so they can strap it to their heads but it looks painful. They call this a Burden Basket. I'd say so!

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Here's a couple of Apache women cooking on a camp fire:

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And an Apache woman with her baby(just because I like this picture):

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Last but no least

This is an unusual aspect for American Indians but the Apache women were also given the chance to train and even fight alongside the men if they chose to do so.

Their greatest female warrior, Lozen, chose to forgo the traditional female role to become a warrior alongside her brother Victorio, who we talked about yesterday.

And in case you haven't heard about her, that's because it was a closely guarded secret for generations until just recently.

Lozen was unsurpassed as a strategist and warrior, equal to any man, and her story is fascinating but I don't know if there is enough information to even do a series about her.
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I'll end with this quote by the great Chiricahua Apache Chief Geronimo:

"When a child my mother taught me the legends of our people; taught me of the sun and sky, the moon and stars, the clouds and storms.

She also taught me to kneel and pray to Usen for strength, health, wisdom, and protection. We never prayed against any person, but if we had aught against any individual we ourselves took vengeance. We were taught that Usen does not care for the petty quarrels of men."

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In the next post Hermann goes on raids against his old neighborhood.

Thanks for reading folks, God bless you all!
-jonboy
Texas

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Hello there, janton! It is the most exciting reading of all the series, at least for me. Not that I don't know about big and important role of a woman in a family (or a tribe) but because it was interesting to read how much of absolutely different job they can do. It is really amazing.

And I like all your photographs selection 🙂👍

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Howdy zirochka! Thanks so much for the kind words and I was super impressed also by everything that the women did, even being warriors if they chose! Even building their homes! Those two things really surprised me. Thanks so much for commenting!

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Reading was my pleasure!

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howdy powerhousecreatives and thank you so much, you're awesome!

Wonderful old photos!!

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howdy sir kaminchan! Thank you, I'm glad you appreciate them because they were not easy to find! lol.

Howdy Janton! I really enjoyed reading this story, even thou is sad. Nevertheless, women around the world always work hard taking care of their families, yet being taken for granted. At least you brought a little attention to them as an important part of Apache history. Well done!

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Howdy Miss Lena! well after you read everything they do, even having to build the houses you're left asking, "well what do the men do?" lol. And with no modern conveniences? Forget that, I like being close to nature but not that close!

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Howdy Janton! I guess man were there just to cause a trouble, such as steal horses, fight and make babies, lol. When you think about it, all the war around the world is mainly because of man in general. I am not saying every man is like that and very woman is an angel, but over all it's true, don't you think?

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howdy again Miss Lena! once again you are so right! Yes most women are indeed angels compared to men. I don't know of any women who have started wars, for instance. Only men are dumb enough and proud enough to do that!

I think the men hunted and protected the village and made babies but besides that I think they sat around talking, smoking, and ordering their squaws around!

I think looking after the home and raising kids is far harder than what the men did. Sure they hunted and fought enemies,but they trained for that. As a women it was just expected and that is what you did. A really tough life if you ask me.

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howdy sir cryptoandcoffee! I agree, it was a never-ending task, brutal acually.

Morning janton, aren't women fantastic .... says this Australian woman, haha.

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haha! yes Ma'am they're amazing, I couldn't agree more!

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Haha, there was only answer for a gentleman janton.

Thos baskets are pretty incredible. You would think they could have made really big ones to serve as roves, since they're waterproof and all. Probably too much work, when a hide will do just as well...

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Howdy again sir fotosdenada! oh that's good thinking but I suppose you're right that it would have been too much work.
How's the weather up there? Is it still cool?

Hey, @janton.

Looks like cicisaja schooled you on what's still happening around the world, so I'll be kind and not point it out again. :)

Especially since I was going to say something flippant, and hopefully funny about what's the big deal, seems the same to me.

Actually, though, for my parents, I think it tilted that way more, just because my father was gone most of the day working, and that had been the same for their parents.

In my case, my wife wanted me to help out more, but then when my help didn't meet her specifications, she'd do it all over again sometimes. :) To me it seemed a waste of time for me to get involved either way.

Now, of course, I'm more involved because she's the one working, which is fine. There just isn't time for her to do it, and she's pretty tired when she gets home. You know all about that right now.

So, anyway, times change, and times don't change. Sometimes change is good. Sometimes, change brings it with it other issues that then need to be worked out. :)

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haha! Howdy sir Glen! yeah like I don't know that's still happening around the world. lol.

I sure appreciate you stopping in though because it's a great reminder to get over to your blog, I've been meanin to for the last few days. I'm behind on all my steemit goals.

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Steemit goals? You've got Steemit goals? :) I was thinking you were easing out of all of this. Seems like it. So why Steemit goals? Especially if you're behind. Speaking of which, I must be way behind in what's going on around your place. Do tell. :)

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haha! howdy again sir Glen! Well my goals are to maintain the number of contacts I have and to keep slowly building my account but so far I haven't been able to maintain very well so I'm not really meeting my goals. We all need the price to start going up and stay up so we can justify our time here dog gonnit. lol.

There isn't much going on around here except for repair and maintenance of the place and with 10 acres to mow that job alone takes up alot of time plus trimming out trees that we don't want and doing landscaping work like planting grass and building terraces to control erosion..but the main goal is to put in new patios so I'm getting ready to work on that, in fact I started today. That's what the boss really wants to see completed this summer.

What about you guys, any special jobs your boss wants done? :)

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Always. We're supposed to be receiving a new refrigerator today. She told me a day or so ago she wants the gutters cleaned out, and she's back to the fence, because she found a guy (maybe) that can do both. Plus she wants to repaint the hose, even though we've done that within the last 8-10 years (we've already done it once in the last 14). I finally managed to trim back the apple tree she wanted in between rain bursts, and I'm sure the garden will be the next thing up. She's been wanting someone to weed around the flower beds in front and back, but so far, none of that's been done. Shall I continue? :)

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haha! Yes please continue, I love hearing this stuff because these lists sound familiar! lol. Gutters here too, painting, replacing wood trim, repainting an iron fence that first has to be stripped of all the rust. But we don't have a garden which
I'm thankful for because everytime I read about someone getting bit by a copperhead it's because they were working in
their garden and reaching down to pull weeds or pick some vegetable and apparently they love to hang out there and they
blend in so well you can't see them.

Does your wife want a fence built? If so then that takes ..well you know what that takes, special equipment. Most people hire Mexicans to do their landscaping but your wife says hey I got free labor right here!
New refrigerators are wonderful though, that's realy nice!

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It's a backup refrigerator, believe it or not. The one we have stopped working, so we're replacing it. Doesn't want to draw power, even though the outlet's fine and everything else is good as far as I can tell. The new one is nothing fancy because it sits out in the shed, so no water dispenser or ice maker.

Oh, the fence is up. We built it (a couple of friends and I) shortly after we moved in here, so probably 13 years ago, give or take a few month. I had to redo most of the back end two or three years ago (with help) because it sits above the property behind it that the original owners decided to slope rather than terrace, and they did it right up to and a little past the property line. So, it rains, things start to erode more, and we have posts that are two feet deep starting to lean. So, now they're closer to two and a half to three feet deep. :)

The gate on the garage side of the house needs to be reworked and my wife would like me to redo the side yard fence facing the road.

The guy who mows and fertilizes our lawn is originally from El Salvador. :)

I don't think we have copperhead here, especially in town. We might get the occasional small lizard or garter snake. Looks like the worst we have around here is a western rattlesnake. Can't say I've seen any of those, either. Not in the garden, anyway. :)

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Howdy today sir Glen! So you have to plant and maintain a garden too? Or is this a joint effort? Gardens are alot of work I think. that fencing situation sounds like work too though. lol. should be a fun summer for you, I think that's what you're saying. lol.
Too bad the refrigerator went out though, we rely on ours for the water dispenser for drinking water since it has the filter, is that what you do? And if you do, now what?

Those agave plants are no joke. Snag one of those with the lawnmower and it spray your skin - yikes. I love them though. The plums they get when flowering are so elegant.

I like that picture of the lady and the baby too.

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Howdy tonight ginnyannette! Oh you guys have lots of agave plants? And you mow them down? What happens if it sprays your skin? I actually had about 7 or 8 photos of Apache women and girls to post but I ran out of time and the post was getting long so I left them off, maybe I'll put them on tomorrows.

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I don't have any, although I wish I did. They are slow growing. My parents have one. The sap burns your skin.

Those are such interesting photos. I like the honesty in them.

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Howdy tonight ginnyannette! so you want agave plants? What would you do with them, or do you just like the way they look?
I like the old photos too, very genuine and authentic.

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I want a couple of huge old ones to accent my front, but I don't want to wait forever for them to grow.

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You want them to accent your front or the front of your house?
Also, when you say they grow slow you're talking about a few years?

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That sounded mildly perverted, I'm scandalized, lol.

I'm looking to put them in my yard, although I'm not looking because I'm too impatient, to be clear :)

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haha! howdy today ginnyannette! oh ok, so you're saying you'd like to put them in but you don't have the patience
to raise them right, because they take years to grow up? I think you need to plant them right away then, hey as fast
as time flies they'll be big in no time!

Unfortunately @janton.. uhmm wait..

howdy?

We still have that kind of women's do anything here in Asia and Indonesia😊

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haha! Howdy cicisaja! so good to hear from you! Oh, that is too bad, I don't like to hear that where women are still expected to do all the work, that's not right! Is it that way in your country?

I don't even know where your country is, I went to check your blog because I wanted to make sure what country you are in and I don't recognize Pamulang, Tangsel, or Banten! lol. I need geography lessons!

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I gave you a follow !

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well thank you devske!

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My country is Indonesia in South East Asia. In a place where patriarchy is still the implements in community, those kind of thing exists. But not in all ethnics and places too. Sometimes, they just don't have the choice but doing all the works😊

Don't waste your time to check on the map @janton 😉 just write more posts about the wild wild west. That's life... some still preserve their ancient's way to survive.

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Howdy again cicisaja! Well I hope that conditions for women improve in places where that is needed. Some countries are just behind but change can happen. Thanks so much for your kind words!

Hi, @janton!

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All women are amazing. Period!

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Howdy blacklux! Oh they are, totally amazing and the best workers by far, at least that's been
my experience. My experience has been that if you really want something done and done efficiently
have a woman do it, especially in busy circumstances because they are used to multi-tasking and can
complete the job without being distracted!

I can’t imagine having to make a home/shelter from scratch these days. It would fall apart for sure! But I’m sure it was second nature to them.
Who took these pictures btw? People passing by?

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Howdy hebrewhousewife! Good to hear from you! Are you posting again? I'll have to get you back on my
routine if you are. The photos are gathered from historic sites and archives so it's usually impossible to
tell who took them. I'm sure some were by photographers of newspapers, others for the military.

Wow......I didn't know there were over 500 different American Indian tribes existing still in America @janton and after reading your information about the hard working Apache women I can understand why that would be.

As much as I enjoy being active I'd much rather have been a male than a female as they didn't seem to have much time for relaxing in between chores. What a resilient breed of people especially when we learn about their life long struggles and challenges. Another great blog my friend. (U & R )

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Howdy Trudee! Yes I agree that they were amazing and each tribe seemed to have some incredible knowledge or skills that could have greatly helped society if we would have made peace and learned from them instead of trying to wipe them out. There used to be over a thousand tribes before the white man took over.

I agree also about wanting to be a male in one of those tribes! The women were unbelievable in what they did but I don't think they ever got a break their whole lives!

What are you guys doing today? My internet service has been off most of the day, took me forever to get a post out and now I'm way behind on comments. Thanks so much for the kind words. Oh, does U&R mean upvote and resteem? I don't even know what that means! lol. if so, then thank you bunches!

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When I compare the hardships and challenges faced by indigenous people and pioneers in days gone by to our modern way of life it really does emphasize just how strong and resilient people were. We moan and groan when our washing machines break down our power goes out during storms and are unable to use our ovens, microwaves and dishwashers etc. What a bunch of wimps and weaklings we are, compared to those people who knew the meaning of the word 'work.'

I was having internet problems last week too so I empathize with you. Yes. You have great powers of deduction my friend. U & R mean Upvote and Resteem and it is a pleasure to share your inspiring blogs. I hope you and Mrs J have a blessed and enjoyable Easter. 🙏

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Howdy again Trudee! you are so right, we are a bunch of spoiled brats who know nothing of hard work or survival! lol. I'm very thankful everyday when I'm reading about the pioneer days and how good we have it now.

Thanks so much for your kind words and what does the weekend hold for you guys? For us, Mrs. J has to work so I'll be working some on the property and then on steemit but nothing special that's for sure.

Again wonderful photos and info. I'm sure everyone in the tribe had important roles and worked harder than we can even imagine.

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Yeah I'd last a couple of days maybe! lol. If it was in the summer and the Texas heat, forget it.
How's today going for you? I already told you about my internet connection problems.

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I hope you have been able to remain connected all day today!

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Howdy today Melinda! yes, so far so good. It's supposed to rain tonight so we'll see.
We're a little to far out in the country to have access to reliable internet but eventually
we will I'm sure.
Hey how often do you give away those engage tokens, are you still giving those away?
It's an exclamation point then engage capitalized and then a space and the amount right?

Hi Cowboy! Women were the heart of the home then too.
The photo of the cloth tent with the two women outside made me wonder how they kept the rain out with an open top. Maybe not much rain to worry about in the desert?
I’m happy to see the women could be trained as warriors if they wanted.
Geronimo’s quote is lovely and shows their knowledge and love of nature and a belief in a higher power. What the higher power is called doesn’t matter.

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Howdy again redheadpei! I thought about that hole in the roof too, I assume it was so the smoke of a fire could escape but it sure was a large hole, unlike the tepee openings. I'd be tempted to be a warrior if I was a woman because the women had to work so hard!

Howdy Sir @janton a great story here that is so similar over here.
We work with many women over here at the charity and most of them were abused. I was raised by a woman that stood back for no man and she worked double shifts to keep our family going (no father).
Later on the hard work took its toll and she passed away at age 51, but to this day she remains my hero.
Some great pictures here and well written.
Blessings!

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howdy sir papilloncharity! oh my gosh, 51 years old! You could say that she worked herself to death. What a shame but also a great woman! I can see why she is a hero figure.
What part of the culture there expect the women to do all the work?

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Howdy Sir @janton, my mother was indeed a wonderful woman.
I don't want to create any dissent here, so I won't name the cultures, but there are a heap of nations over here. For instance we have 11 official languages and it doesn't include the millions of other language speakers. The story about the Apache women suits some of these nations!
Blessings!

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Howdy today sir papilloncharity! I understand that, well perhaps change will come to those cultures someday, I don't know how but we know that nothing it impossible.

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Thank you Sir and in the meantime we are working at changing their perceptions and habits.
Blessings!

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What great work you guys are doing, what a noble and important calling!

Hi @janton!

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A woman's work is never done. I had no idea that they built the homes and tanned buffalo hides. That sounds like a mans job. Me, of all people could feel the pain in their heads and necks looking at them carrying those heavy baskets. They must have had many headaches but their neck muscles must have been very strong.

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Howdy Butterfly! I was totally amazed when I found out how much they were expected to do. I mean I knew it was a lot but build the houses too? And work with those super heavy buffalo hides? dang, and yeah ..haul stuff with those baskets strapped to your head? holy moly!
I'd be a warrior if I was a woman.
You probably don't watch AMC but last year they started a new series called The Son, starring Pierce Brosnan, have you seen it?
Anyway it takes place in Texas and is about the capture of a young white boy by the Camanches and it's very accurate in it's history and showing the Indian culture and ways of living. some of the incidents on the show were ones I recognized from reading different accounts of kids being kidnapped.

I'm sorry I almost forgot my point! They show the daily life in the village with the warriors sitting around smoking and talking and the women working their tales off. lol.

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I guess I don't watch AMC because I don't even know what AMC is. LOL!
Nope, I haven't seen "The Son", never even heard of it before either. It sounds like something that is right up your alley. : )

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Howdy again Butterfly! well it's a cable channel. I comes with our Dish package but it's on other carriers too.
I was just impressed with it's historical accuracy and I never know who is able to see what so I thought I'd check. lol.