Friday, April 3, 2015


Lozen was a Chihenne-Chiricahua Apache warrior, shaman, and sage, or seer. She was born in the 1840s, in a section of New Mexico/Arizona/Northern Mexico known at that time as Apacheria, within sight of the Sacred Mountain near Ojo Caliente where the People began. Some reports place her birth in the late 1840s.

Map of Apachean peoples in the 18th century CE. Ch is for Chiricahua, WA for Western Apache, N for Navajo, M for Mescalero, J for Jicarilla, L for Lipan, Pl for Plains Apache. Lozen was Chiracahua and Dahteste was Mescalero (, April 2012)

Lozen, the younger sister of the famous leader Victorio and a leader in her own right, she began riding horses at age seven. She learned the Apache art of war as taught to her by her Victorio.

Hattie Tom, Chiricahua Apache

She was never interested in the traditional roles of Apache women, never married a man, and was described as being more masculine than other men in her tribe. Victorio described her as “my right hand” and “a shield to her people.”

Howard Terpning - Paper That Talks Two Ways, The Treaty Signing - Hand Signed - Canvas Edition -image Size: 40"w X 33"h. - This Original 57" X 70" Masterpiece Is Part Of Terpning?s Private Collection. In The Painting, We See A Gathering Of Cheyenne And Sioux Men Intently Listening To A Man Who Is An Orator Among His People. The Words Of The Peace Commission Have Been Translated To Him And He Is Expressing His Distrust Of Those Words.

In the 1870s, Victorio and his band of Apaches were moved to the deplorable conditions of the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona. He and his followers left the reservation around 1877 and began marauding and raiding, all while evading capture by the military,  in late August 1879, which started Victorio's War.

Shanina Conway - Native American Art 

When the US Army tried to drive the Chiricahua Apaches from their homeland, Lozen fought alongside Cochise, Geronimo, and Victorio in def
ense of her people. Gifted with the power of far-sight that allows her to see enemies miles away,  by means of a ritual in which she sang, extended her arms, and turned in a circle until the palms of her hands tingled, a sign that let her know from which direction they were approaching. She become an extraordinary shaman, warrior, horse thief, and healer. 

Apache Warrior Face Paint Painting by paul kane

Late in Victorio’s campaign, Lozen left the band to escort a new mother and her newborn infant across the Chihuahuan Desert from Mexico to the Mescalero Apache Reservation, on a perilous journey through territory occupied by Mexican and U.S. Cavalry forces.

She stole a Mexican cavalry horse for the new mother, stole a vaquero’s horse for herself, acquired a soldier’s saddle, rifle, ammunition, blanket and canteen, and even his shirt. Finally, she delivered her charges to the reservation.

When she was away, in October 1880, while moving along the Rio Grande in northern Mexico, Victorio and his band were surrounded and killed by soldiers of the Mexican Army under Colonel Joaquin Terrazas in the Tres Castillos Mountains.

 Apache prisoners from Victorio's band after the Tres Castillos battle.

Hearing this, Lozen left the Mescalero Reservation and rode southwest across the desert to join the decimated band in the Sierra Madre, now led by the 74-year-old patriarch Nana.

Lozen fought beside Nana and his handful of warriors in a two-month-long bloody campaign of vengeance across southwestern New Mexico in 1881. Lozen also fought beside Geronimo in the last campaign of the Apache wars. 

Group photo (April 1886) of captive wives and children of the Apache leaders and warriors, - Geronimo-Perico-Bische-Mangus, - taken prisoner in the fall of 1885 and held at Fort Bowie. They were used by Gen. Crook to lure the Chiricahua men to the peace councils to be held at Canyon de los Embudos at the end of March 1886. Within a few hours of this photo, the unsuspecting women and children were sent into 27 years of captivity.

Taken into U. S. military custody after Geronimo’s final surrender, Lozen traveled as a prisoner of war to Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama, where she contracted tuberculosis and died at the age of 50, never seeing her lands in New Mexico ever again.

For over one hundred years the Apaches have kept her memory alive.

Close inspection of this photograph reveals that this is the original source the image of Lozen (sitting on the upper part of the photo, third from the right)

Warrior Women - Lozen 1

Warrior Women - Lozen 2

Warrior Women - Lozen 3

Warrior Women - Lozen 4

Warrior Women - Lozen 5

More information at: Apache TrackerLucia St. Clair RobsonQualia FolkWonder Woman Wednesday, American TribesWikipedia


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