At the beginning of the eighteenth century the Jicarilla commonly raided the Plains tribes to their east and used the fruits of their successes to trade with the Pueblo Indians and the Spanish.
When the Comanche, who had obtained guns from the French, with their close allies and kin, the Ute, were pushing out onto the plains, they were pillaging the various eastern Apache peoples (Jicarilla, Mescalero and Lipan) occupying the southern plains for control.
Tribal members transitioned from a semi-nomadic lifestyle and are now supported by their oil and gas, casino gaming, forestry, ranching and tourism industries on the reservation.
The Jicarilla continue to be known for their pottery, basketry and beadwork.
As they were pushed off the plain, the Jicarilla moved to the mountains and near the pueblos and Spanish missions where they sought alliance with the Puebloan peoples and the Spanish settlers.