Published on January 5, 2011 by John
Massai (also known as: Massa, Massi, Masai, Wasse or Massey; c.1847-1911) was a member of the Mimbres band of Chiricahua Apache. He was warrior who escaped from a train that was sending the scouts and renegades to Florida to be held with Geronimo and Chihuahua.
Born to White Cloud and Little Star at Mescal Mountain, Arizona, near Globe. He later married a local Chiricahua and they had two children.
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While Massai was working for the U.S. Cavalry in New Mexico as a scout, Juh went off the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation and kidnapped Massai’s wife and children (among others), taking them to Sonora, Mexico.
Later, after he escaped from the train near Saint Louis, Missouri, with a Tonkawa named Gray Lizzard, they walked back to central New Mexico, the area of the Capitan and Sierra Blanca (White Mountains), where they met some Mescaleros. He later kidnapped and married (c.1887) a Mescalero girl named Zan-a-go-li-che and took her home to his family at Mescal Mountain. Massai and Zanagoliche had six children together
At the end of his life, after contracting tuberculosis, he decided to take his wife and their children back to her home with the Mescaleros in New Mexico. Along the way he was killed, west of the town of San Marcial, New Mexico (between Socorro and Hot Springs), by a posse who cut of his head and burnt his body.
Apparently the White settlers got Massai and The Apache Kid (Haskay-bay-nay-natyl) mixed up a lot of the time.
He was portrayed by Burt Lancaster in the 1954 film Apache.