Apache Tears

Apache Tears are natural crystals and a form of Black Obsidian Stone.  This stone is usually found in the southwest and parts of Mexico.  They are somewhat transparent and either a dark brown or black in color.  These irregular shape stones get their name from an American Indian legend.

Around the 1870’s the connection between the United States military and some of the American Indians, especially the Apaches, was tense and precarious.  The military built many garrisons in hopes to keep the Apache under restraint.  One of the forts built was Camp Pinal which is located near today’s Superior, Arizona.  There were no written records, so what happened next was from many years and decades of stories.

In the late 1800’s, troops from Camp Pinal were chasing a group of 75 Apache warriors.  They had driven the band of men west to the edge of a cliff (now called Apache Leap) which today looks over the town of Superior.  The Apache men were extremely proud and would not let the military take them prisoner.  Instead, all 75 warriors leaped off the edge of the cliff and fell eight hundred feet to their death.  The men’s families heard of the news and quickly went to the bottom of the cliff.  They cried nonstop and mourned the brave men’s demise.  It is told that their tears absorbed into the soil, hardened, and turned into the black obsidian stones we see today.

Superior, AZ 2010 (Apache Leap)


  1. I've missed your blog! Thank you for keeping this heritage legend alive.

    1. Glad to have you back. I love the Native American stories and legends.

  2. Wow, what a beautiful and sad story. It explains why at cemeteries in AZ I run into apache tears left on people's graves.

  3. That's such a sad story :( but pretty. Thank you for telling me :)


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