Nana & (not) Victorio

Interesting piece by Daniel Aranda in the June 2021 issue of Wild West on the famous but incorrect picture of the great Victorio. Included in the photo galleries of most popular histories of the Apache Wars (and even featured on the cover of Dan Thrapp’s seminal 1974 biography of the Chihenne chief) the image above has now been correctly identified as the portrait of a handsome young Mojave named Beitero. No authentic photograph of Victorio is known to exist, although Aranda believes one may have been taken before the chief’s death at Tres Castillos in 1880 and a copy may still exist somewhere.

If unearthed, such a photo would help resolve the differing written descriptions of the man. Some of those, like Lt. Charles Gatewood’s unflattering depiction of “a palsied, aged and decrepit chief who was barely able to accompany squaws and children in their forays,” likely confuses Victorio with his much older uncle Nana.

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