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Lozen: Apache Warrior Princess

Lozen (her name can be roughly translated as horse thief) was born around 1840. She was a Chihenne Apache and the sister of the great Apache warrior, Victorio. She was a woman but also a great Apache warrior in what was a mans world.

Lozen (her name can roughly be translated as horse thief) was born around 1840. She was a Chihenne Apache and the sister of the great Apache warrior, Victorio.

Lozen was always devoted to her brother and from an early age showed no inclination to live the traditional life of the Apache woman. She made it clear that she would fight and ride with the  men,  and follow her brother. She may well have been a woman but she was first and foremost, a warrior, and was to be an inspiration to her people.  

Lozen

After being repeatedly moved from one place to another, Victorio and his people were transferred to the San Carlos Reservation, but from the start Victorio had no intention of staying. He was just waiting for the opportunity to abscond. In late 1877, he led his people, 300 men, women, and children, out of the reservation. They desired to return to Warm Springs, Arizona, to go home, and Lozen went with them. The Authorities, however, had no intention of just letting them go and Victorio was very soon pursued by both the United States and Mexican armies. Victorio, who who had already become a legend fighting alongside Geronimo and Cochise, and was greatly feared, now fought a 3 year campaign of resistance, and at his side was his sister. He said of her, “Lozen, is my right hand, strong as a man, braver than most, and cunning in strategy. Lozen, is a shield to her people.” There is little doubt that she could ride, shoot, and fight better than most men. On one occasion, as Victorio and his warriors were fighting a desperate rearguard action to allow the women and children time to escape they had come across a fast flowing river. An Apache child, Kaywaykla, described how, too frightened to cross the women and children were crying and wailing, when the “woman warrior”, Lozen, appeared, “High above head she held a rifle. There was glitter as her right foot lifted and struck the shoulder of her horse. He reared then plunged into the torrent. She turned his head upstream, and he began swimming. As the other women and children followed she turned to my grandmother and said, “You take charge now, I must return to the warriors.” On another occasion she had escorted a young woman and her newly-born child across the desert. She rustled cattle, killed and cooked for them, provided clothes and stole horses, and more than once had to shoot her way out of a fix, but she got them to safety.

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  1. Guy Hogan

    On September 29, 2009 at 12:20 pm


    The story of how Native Americans defended their life style in a losing battle cast them in a much better light then those who took their land from them.

  2. Kim Seabrook

    On September 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm


    That’s a fair comment, Guy.

  3. Michael Young

    On April 14, 2011 at 5:40 pm


    I Love the story of Lozen and wonder why a movie has not been produced to showcase her life. There are many books about her but little known facts as she was not spoken of by many of her tribe. It was not through lack of respect but because of the Apache way of life.

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