Western Life

Lozen (Apache Warrior)

Lozen was a skilled warrior and prophet of the Chiricahua Apache (also known as the Warm Springs Apache) tribe in the 19th century. Born in 1840 and the sister of Victorio, also a prominent warrior, she became a legend herself.

Background

A potent warrior, Lozen was not just a stalwart on the battlefield, her expertise also extended to medicinal matters as well. With the passage of time, she was also recognised as a spiritual leader for her people. They believed that she had the innate ability to detect the movements of her enemies. This led to her being called as the Apache Joan of Arc by her clan.

At the time of her emergence, the Apaches used the moniker of Lozen as a title and seldom used their birth names. The title was attached to those who would steal horses in a raid. The tribesmen adhered to the notion that by using this title, the leaders could conserve their spiritual prowess.

Even as a youngster, Lozen always bucked convention and held no interest in the roles that were generally assigned to females at the time, such as overseeing domestic matters. In fact, even as a young woman, the art of war and the methods of being a warrior were what piqued her interest.

This was why her brother, Victorio, gave her a martial education. Lozen also learned more about medicines and eventually combined both skill sets to great effect. By the time she turned 20, Lozen developed a talent of stealing stallions and mares.

In addition, Lozen rode horses quite well and was adept at shooting also. She even fought alongside her brother Victorio and was involved in a number of council and warrior meetings too. Victorio was once quoted as saying that Lozen was his right hand, was as strong as any man and was cunning in battle also.

Tales of her expertise as a military strategist, particularly her tracking became much heralded. Legend has it that Lozen would simply stretch her arms and follow the sun. She would pray to Ussen, the Apache deity and follow her opposition.

It is also believed that when a threat was imminent, Lozen would feel a sensation in her hands and her palms would darken. Once she was able to recognise the direction from which here enemies would emerge, she would assist her tribe in evading capture.

Later Years

Lozen and her tribe faced a seismic shift in 1870, when the Apache had to relocate to the reservations. When they were residing on the San Carlos Reservation in 1877, they moved once again to find better conditions. What followed was a struggle to claim land for themselves.

Victorio perished in battle of 1880 and this persuaded Lozen to seek vengeance. She led her tribe and raided regions of New Mexico and Arizona. Ultimately, they joined with Geronimo, who was a war chief in the Apache ranks. Their crusades lasted a few more years until Lozen was killed in 1889 owing to tuberculosis.

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