The Chiricahua Apache are an Athabaskan people.
This means they speak a language that originated in northwestern North America. It is generally believed they were pushed south from this area by warring tribes. They entered into what would become the southwestern United States somewhere between 1400 and 1500, based on recent archaeological evidence.
The Chiricahua were a group of different Apache bands that settled in what is now southeastern Arizona, southwestern New Mexico, and northern Mexico in the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts. The Chiricahua were named after the Chiricahua Mountains in southeast Arizona. The Apaches did not refer to themselves as “Apache” which was a word that translated to enemy in Zuni and was later adopted by the Spanish. Apaches instead referred to themselves with variants of “nde,” simply meaning “the people.”
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE ARTICLE:
UNIVERSITY OF FAIRBANKS, ALASKA ARTICLE:
ATHABASKAN LANGUAGE FAMILY (BRITANNICA):
WIKIPEDIA ATHABASKAN LANGUAGE ARTICLE: