Historical Figures

Lozen, Apache Fighter

Lozen (circa 1840 – circa 1887) was an Amerindian fighter, considered a shaman, who participated in numerous campaigns against Mexicans and American settlers.

"Brave than most men"

Lozen was born in the 1840s to an Apache people, the Chiricahuas, living in the southwest United States and which also includes the famous Cochise and Géronimo. She is the younger sister of warlord Victorio, who later called her "his right hand" , strong as a man, braver than most of them . Little is known about her youth, except that she quickly demonstrated her fighting skills and refused to marry.

Victorio and Lozen's tribe lives on a reservation in San Carlos (Arizona), where living conditions are particularly harsh. Having become chief of the tribe, Victorio takes his warriors to scour the region and fight the American army, and Lozen accompanies them. Renowned for her aptitude for combat, she is also considered a shaman; she is notably said to be able to predict the movement of her enemies in battle and to heal wounds. Intrepid, she also knows how to instill courage in her companions. A witness recounts in particular how she was able, during a leak, to encourage the women and children of her tribe to cross the Río Grande in flood. Engaging her horse in the waters of the river, rifle above her head, she knows how to find the words to engage them in their turn. When everyone has crossed safe and sound, she hands the group over to a woman from the tribe before crossing again to join the warriors in battle.

The quest for revenge

Later, when a woman from the tribe gives birth, Lozen accompanies her alone across the desert to take her to safety from battle in an Apache reservation. She must hunt with a knife to avoid being spotted and steal horses for the mother as for her, before arriving at her destination. At the reserve, she learns that her brother and his men have been surrounded and killed by the Mexican army at Tres Castillos. Hoping to save wounded and prisoners, Lozen rode at full speed towards the scene of the ambush, avoiding enemy patrols. She joins a handful of survivors led by the Chiricahua chief Nana. At her side, accompanied by just a few dozen warriors, she fights tirelessly for two months to avenge the death of her brother. Nana says of her:"Although she is a woman, there is no warrior who equals Victorio's sister" . She then fought alongside Geronimo until, exhausted, the latter surrendered in 1886. She herself was taken prisoner shortly afterwards.

Imprisoned in Alabama, Lozen died of tuberculosis in 1887.


Woman Warrior:The Story of Lozen, Apache Warrior and Shaman Aleshire, Peter. St. Martin's Press, 2001
In the Days of Victorio:Recollections of a Warm Springs Apac he, Eve Ball University of Arizona Press