17 Jun Happy Birthday Blog: Lozen
Born: c. 1840 – Died: June 17, 1889
Died at the Mount Vernon Barracks, Alabama, USA
Known for: Famed Apache warrior. medicine woman, and prophet
We know little about the Chihenne Chiricahua Apache warrior known as Lozen. She seems to fall into the stereotypical category of heroicized female warriors throughout history. Her skill and bravery led to some referring to her as the ‘Apache Joan of Arc.’
Sadly, our history of Native America is limited at best, certainly when it comes to women. We do not know specifically when or where she was born, and so our blog today will occur on her death day instead.
Lozen is known as a skilled fighter and strategist on the battlefield, and she spent most of her life fighting alongside her brother and chief Victorio. Together with her brother’s band of Apache’s they left the San Carlos Reservation in New Mexico in 1877 and began to engage in battles against the US forces. Between 1877 and 1880 Victorio and Lozen lost half their band of people fighting the US soldiers.
In 1880, her brother Victorio was killed in battle. After this campaign, Lozen continued to fight the US advancement through Native territories by fighting across New Mexico and Arizona, eventually joining her band with the infamous warrior Geronimo. She fought with Geronimo for the final campaign of the Apache Wars, after his escape from San Carlos in 1885. Part of Lozen’s legend is that she was able to use her powers as a prophet to help find her enemies before battle.
Following the final surrender of Geronimo, she was taken as a prisoner of war and transferred to the Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama. Along with many other imprisoned Apache warriors, Lozen died from tuberculosis in 1887.
Throughout her life, Lozen continued to fight against the stereotypes of her gender and her role within the Apache. She also fought for her land and her people against the encroaching US forces. For that we honor her life and her death.
Learn more about Lozen here.