Lozen - woman warrior of the Chiracahua Apache

Chiracahua Mountains and San Simon Valley ~

Chiracahua Mountains and San Simon Valley in southeastern Arizona. Apache land where Lozen once roamed.
Chiracahua Mountains and San Simon Valley in southeastern Arizona. Apache land where Lozen once roamed. | Source

Chiracahua ~

Lozen was a woman warrior of the Chiracahua Apache.

The Chiracahua (Tsokanende) had many famous, powerful, cunning war leaders and chiefs - among them was Cochise, Mangas Colorados, Ponce, Victorio (Lozen's brother) and several others.. After Victorio's death, the last leaders of the Central Apache bands were Nana, Geronimo, Mangus (Mangas Colaradas' son) and Naiche (youngest son of Cochise).

These great leaders were the last Apache to resist the United States government from gaining control of the American Southwest

History neglected the woman warrior ~

History books are full of the legends of fierce male warriors of Native American tribes. Yet little is known about the women warriors who fought and died along side their men. Lozen, an Apache woman warrior, was one of the fiercest and cunning of warriors.

Lozen, a skilled and respected woman warrior and shaman of the Chiricahua Apache, was born around 1840, into the Chihenne band. Chief Victorio, Bidu-ya, (1825 - 1880), was her older brother. She succeeded in battle by using her supernatural powers (Diya) to detect the movements and location of the enemy. Those who remembered said she would stand with her arms outstretched to let the wind caress her skin. The senses she felt raised chills along her arms and she could tell where the enemy was.

In the 1870s, when Victorio's band was living on the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona, where they had been forcibly removed to, he and his warriors left the reservation and evaded the military. They returned to their ways of raiding and marauding and battle with their old, as well as the new enemies. Lozen rode and fought in battle beside her brother to try and regain their home lands, around west New Mexico's Black Mountain, which had been appropriated by the white Americans.

It was said that she could ride, shoot, and fight as well as the men in the band and had great skill in military strategy. Victorio depended upon her and her skills as a fierce, cunning, and intelligent warrior.

Chiricahua Apache Chief Victorio, Lozen's brother ~

Chiricahua Apache Chief Victorio, circa 1875.
Chiricahua Apache Chief Victorio, circa 1875. | Source

Lozen is my right hand -- strong as a man, braver than most, and cunning in strategy. Lozen is a shield to her people.

— Victorio

Fierce beauty hidden behind manly ways ~

Lozen, although a woman of the tribe, chose to dress and act like a man and fight with other warriors in Victorio's band. Apache warriors were fierce, feared and ferocious in battle and Lozen was one of the best. She never married. She preferred to ride and fight in battle and dedicated her life to her people by fighting for them.

Sadly,there are very few photos of Lozen. Ones that can be found are too small, dark or grainy and do not show up well in an article like this. Lozen looked very much like Victorio.

Lozen was included in the ceremonies for warriors, sang their battle songs, and prayed with them before the battles. she was also a respected medicine woman and shaman. People sought her out, for, she had knowledge to heal and they depended on Lozen's wisdom.

This remarkable woman would put her own self in harm's way to protect the women and children of her tribe. They looked up to Lozen and trusted their life would be safe under her protection.

Apache girl ~

Apache Indian girl carrying an olla (a water basket) on her head, ca.1900
Apache Indian girl carrying an olla (a water basket) on her head, ca.1900 | Source

Safety for her people came first ~

In one battle, Lozen saw first to the women and children who were terrified and confused. She urged them to flee from the American forces by crossing the raging waters of the Rio Grande. Her bravery and courageous command while sitting on her horse, her rifle held high above her, inspired the people to move and flee to safety across the river. Once the women and children were safe, she returned to join the battle with Victorio and the other warriors.

Just before Victorio's last battle, in October of 1880, Lozen had left the band to escort a young mother and her new baby across the Chihuahuan Desert from Mexico to the Mescalero Apache Reservation. She stole horses and provisions to keep them alive and took them to safety. Once at the reservation, she learned that Victorio had fought his last battle and had died at his own hand rather than be captured and enslaved by the Mexicans they had fought against.

The loss of Victorio was devastating for Lozen, but she fought on with fierce energy and pride for her beloved brother. She was no less a warrior and shaman because Victorio was gone - she was ever more empowered with his spirit beside her in battle.

Return to battle and taken prisoner ~

Lozen returned to her people, the survivors of the battle, in Sierra Madre, where Nana, the aging patriarch of the band was holding them together. She continued to fight in battle with Nana and in later battles fought beside Geronimo, another famous and fierce warrior chief.

After the last campaign of the Apache wars, around 1885, Lozen, along with Geronimo and many other warriors, were taken into custody by the U.S. military and transported to the Mount Vernon Barracks in Alabama. She died there from tuberculosis sometime after 1887.

Even though she preferred to be a warrior and fight with the men of her tribe, she held the respected place of a woman among the Apache. Lozen had her own warrior prayer.

Upon this earth

On which we live

Ussen has Power

This Power is mine

For locating the enemy.

I search for that Enemy

Which only Ussen the Great

Can show to me.

— Lozen

Apache Captives, El Paso stop over, 1886. It is believed that Lozen is in the back row, fifth from the right. ~

Apache Captives - Geronimo is third from the right in the front row.
Apache Captives - Geronimo is third from the right in the front row. | Source

Lozen ...

Brief history of the Apache ~

In their days of freedom and power the Apache tribes were known as the fiercest warriors in the southwestern United States.

The Chiracahua Apache were members of several bands that had related cultures and language. Several centuries ago they migrated from western Canada to the Southwest in the United States. They referred to themselves as "the people", in their language this was known as the Dini, Tinneh, or Tiride. The name Apache came from the pueblo tribes of the Zuni - Apachu, which means enemy, is what the Zuni called them.

Long before their conflicts with the European settlers and US government, the Chiracahua fought against the Spanish and Mexicans. For over 100 years they fought to prevent their enemies from taking control of the lands the Apache knew as their home. Then the Europeans came and the Apache people were spread thinner to fight more enemies and encroachments.

The Chiracahua used Apache Pass in the Chiracahua Mountain range to cross over into Mexico on their raids. They often camped up in that area near the Apache Spring, a natural fresh water spring. At times there were over 100 Apaches living in this cooler are where water and game were abundant.

When the Spanish and Mexicans began using the same pass many conflicts erupted and Apache Pass became risky area for the Chiracahua. Eventually the pass was used as a route by wagon trains and the Butterfield Overland Mail stage. The mail company built a station in the area near Apache Spring.

With so many others using the pass, ideas began to arise that the Apache should be forced out of the area. A Lt. George N. Bascom of the US army tried to have one of the Apache leaders arrested at Apache Spring. A battle ensued which left many dead on both sides. This angered Cochise to the point that he would not tolerate any more such incidents. He began warring against the army and all Americans. This finally ended in a treaty with Cochise and his people, but other Apaches were still angry and for many years the Apache Wars (1849 - 1886) were fought.

Cochise fought with guerrilla warfare tactics for twenty years before he made peace with the US and agreed to move his people (including Geronimo) to a reservation in the Chiracahua Mountains. Cochise died there in 1874.

In 1876 the U.S. decided to move the Chiracahua to another reservation in San Carlos, Geronimo escaped to Mexico. He was captured again in 1877 and was on the reservation until September 1881 when he escaped again and returned to Mexico.

In April 1886, a new commander, Brigadier General Nelson Miles was assigned to capture Geronimo. It took Miles six months after he had coordinated 5,000 soldiers at crucial geographic points using mirror flashes, 500 Apache scouts, 100 Navajo scouts, and thousands of civilian militia to track down Geronimo and his band of 24 people. Lozen was with Geronimo at the time. In September of 1886 they caught up with Geronimo and the Apache scouts convinced the chief to surrender to Miles.

Geronimo was the last of the notable Chiracahua chiefs to surrender to the U.S. army. He died from pneumonia on February 17, 1909 at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.


I should have never surrendered. I should have fought until I was the last man alive.

— Geronimo, his last words on his deathbed.

Geronimo in March 1886 just before he surrendered to General Miles ~

Apache warrior Geronimo (right) and his warriors from left to right: Yanozha (Geronimos´s brother-in-law), Chappo (Geronimo´s son of 2nd wife) and Fun (Yanozha´s half brother) in 1886. Note the size of Geronimo compared to the other warriors.
Apache warrior Geronimo (right) and his warriors from left to right: Yanozha (Geronimos´s brother-in-law), Chappo (Geronimo´s son of 2nd wife) and Fun (Yanozha´s half brother) in 1886. Note the size of Geronimo compared to the other warriors. | Source

Author's side note ~

A friend of mine, who lives in Arizona and is an expert on the Chiracahua people's history, once told me a story of Geronimo and his last band of warriors. The story that I find rather amusing and throws some light on the humor of people even when in dire situations is:

During his time of cunning evasion Geronimo and his people did some pretty creative things to avoid being located. One of their ways was to cut telegraph wires and redirect them through trees and in circles so they would be difficult to track by those in charge of checking the lines. The copper wire pieces they cut off were given to the women of the band to make rings and jewelry with.

Chiracahua National Monument ~

Entrance to the Chiracahua National Monument in the Chiricahua Mountains in southeast Arizona.
Entrance to the Chiracahua National Monument in the Chiricahua Mountains in southeast Arizona. | Source

Chiracahua National Monument is worth a visit to see the hundreds of natural rock formations and hoodoos.

show route and directions
A markerChircahua National Monument -
12326 East Bonita Canyon Road, Willcox, AZ 85643, USA
[get directions]

The monument is about 36 miles (58 km) southeast of Willcox, Arizona.

B markerWillcox, Arizona -
401-499 West Stewart Street, Willcox, AZ 85643, USA
[get directions]

Willcox is in the Sulphur Springs Valley.

C markerChiracahua Mountain range. -
Sky Islands Traverse, San Simon, AZ 85632, USA
[get directions]

Chiracahua Mountain range.

D markerApache Pass Station -
Sky Islands Traverse, Bowie, AZ 85605, USA
[get directions]

The Apache Pass Station that Butterfield Overland Mail built in 1858.

Chiracahua National Monument ~

Stone columns and hoodoos stand watch like brave warriors - a fitting monument to the Apache warriors of the past.
Stone columns and hoodoos stand watch like brave warriors - a fitting monument to the Apache warriors of the past. | Source

Note from author ~

Thank you for reading my article. Your opinions are important to me and let me know your interests. This helps me to offer more of your favorite subjects to read about. Your time and interest are very much appreciated. I hope to hear from you in the comments section below.

I write on several different subjects, all evergreen articles. You can read more about me and see more articles I wrote by clicking on my name by the small picture of me at the top right of this page.

Blessings and may you always walk in peace and harmony, softly upon Mother Earth.

Phyllis Doyle Burns - Lantern Carrier, Spiritual Mentor
~ ~ ~ ~

© 2013 Phyllis Doyle Burns

More by this Author


Comments 35 comments

Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

You still have me, Phyllis. This is an interesting read. We don't often think of women being warriors, but there is nothing stronger than a mother's drive to protect her children. This truth is seen everywhere in nature, especially in the animal kingdom.

In my spiritual studies, the soldiers and protectors of God's children are associated with "the blue flame." Among these are Archangel Michael and the legendary Hercules. Some have heard or know of the stories of the Amazonian warriors. Well, Amazonia is the female half of Hercules.

Lozen clearly was in direct communication with this "blue flame" aspect of God. What a powerful woman!


joanveronica profile image

joanveronica 3 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

Hi Phyllis, this was a lovely read! I enjoyed it so much, and I can also relate to it, as there are similar stories among the Mapuche from southern Chile. There are streets in my hometown that carry the names of famous warriors, and these include the women too. Maybe I will be inspired to write about them here on Hubpages! So thank you for this Hub, voted up, awesome, beautiful and interesting! Also shared! See you!


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 3 years ago from Oklahoma

A thrilling hub to read! Lozen was an amazing woman, and you have told her story beautifully! I will definitely be sharing!


sheilamyers 3 years ago

I enjoyed reading your article. I've always been interested in learning more about Native Americans. I'm glad I found your hub and am now following you.


Mel Jay profile image

Mel Jay 3 years ago from Australia

Fascinating and so incredibly awful to hear how Lozen perished. Thanks for this informative and worthwhile topic.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Thank you, Marie. There were so many women warriors who fought and died along side their men. Dahteste was another Apache woman warrior -- yet there is not much written about her. Thanks for the visit and your interesting comments about "the blue flame". You should write a hub on that. I would like to read it.


Marie Flint profile image

Marie Flint 3 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

After reading the HP Questions: Have you submitted a new hub recently? Read this. AND Is there a difference between being a good Hubber and being a good writer?, I am having doubts about doing anymore metaphysical or spiritual writing at HubPages. (It seems to me that my type of writing does not fit into HubPages' preferences.)

I especially like your hubs because they are high quality. (I wish I could say the same for everyone else's hubs.)

Blessings, and I'll keep following you!


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Joan, how nice to hear from you. I am so glad you enjoyed this hub about Lozen. I would love to hear about the women warriors of southern Chile. I do hope you write about them. Thank you so much for the visit, read, comments, votes and sharing -- it is much appreciated. See you soon.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Sharkye11, thank you so much. I am glad you liked the hub. I wish there was more to research and learn about Lozen -- she was an amazing woman, that is for sure. Thanks again for reading and sharing, it is much appreciated.l


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Sheila, thanks for the visit and comments. I am happy you enjoyed reading about Lozen. There were many Native American women like her, yet it is not easy to find their stories. I keep searching in hopes more will turn up. There are two other Apache women warriors, Gouhyen and Dateste, but not much is to be found about them. Thanks again, Sheila. I appreciate you visit, comments and the follow.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Mel Jay, thanks for the visit and comment. Yes, it is sad that Lozen died where and how she did. I think, being such a strong and fearless warrior, she would have preferred to die in battle. Thanks again.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Hi Marie. I do not get into the forums very often -- but, that one did catch my eye. I will have to take a look. I like to write about spirituality and reincarnation -- if that is what you like to write about, you should continue to do so. To write about what we believe and is our passion is what makes a good hub. There are many good writers here at HP and they each have their own niche with a little variety once in awhile. Since Native American, history, spirituality, and reincarnation are my passions that is what I write about -- and finding information on historical figures like Lozen is a real thrill for me.


Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

Interesting and well written hub, Phyllis. Native American's history is quite fascinating. In that case, you also provided a wonderful historical account and a great story. Enjoyed the read. Thanks for sharing!


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Mike, thank you for the visit and comments, it is good to hear from you. I agree about Native American history -- there are many fascinating historical figures within the many different tribes whose stories need to be told. Thank again for the visit.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 3 years ago from North Carolina

Hi Phyllis. I knew about how Apache women often took on male roles within the tribe but had never heard of their(the shamans) ability to connect with the spirit matrix called Diya. Leaders were sometimes chosen as such because they had this gift, like Cochise for example. What an all-around woman this Lozen was. Peace and harmony to you my friend.:)


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 3 years ago

Phyllis, what a wonderful story! I always enjoy reading your well-written and well-researched hubs. I had never heard of Lozen and I am glad to read her story. I believe she was channeling the blue flame and was protected by it in battle. Her demise by such a terrible and preventable disease is reprehensible on the part of white society.

It is time that women warriors received their due, and with the return of the Divine Feminine to the world, they are becoming more recognized. Women warriors have been buried in history, I think, because of the Judeo-Christian patriarchal society that has dominated the world for the last 1500 or more years. Males attempted to make the Amazons and Druid women look like sluts. When Boudica received historical recognition as a heroine to her people, she became so popular in the modern world that she couldn’t be put down.

@ Marie Flint: I enjoyed your enlightened comments very much, especially your metaphysical comments about Archangel Michael and Hercules. My attitude is kind of like yours, and I have refrained from writing about metaphysics and reincarnation because I’m afraid most of our readers are not spiritually ready for such. Maybe Phyllis has the right idea and we should start writing from our hearts, not from Hub Pages’ heads. I didn’t see the question, but yes, I think there is a BIG difference between a good writer and a good hubber. Fortunate is the writer who is both.

Phyllis, I voted you up ++. Keep it up.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Hi Alastar, it is always so good to hear from you. You are correct about the Apache women. Dahteste was another Apache woman warrior, yet kept her femininity appearance -- however was just as tough and fierce as Lozen. The shamanistic gifts Lozen had were amazing -- to connect to the spirit matrix is not something just anyone can do. She was a fantastic, interesting person. Thank you so much for the visit and comments, Alastar. May you always walk in peace and harmony.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

MizBejabbers, Thank you so much for your visit and comments, it is much appreciated. I so agree with you about women warriors -- not enough has been written about them. The pages of history should be filled with those great and courageous warriors. "Weaker Sex"?, I think not. A woman warrior can be more fierce and cunning that one realizes. Boudica was a beloved heroine to her people, one I have done a lot of research on and will be writing about her in time. There are many women warriors alive today that do not receive the accolades they should. The Cherokee, not too long ago, lost a great leader when Wilma Mankiller walked on to the land of her ancestors. Another great Cherokee woman warrior was Nancy Ward, Beloved Woman and leader of her people.

Women warriors are of all genres. A warrior is not always one who goes into the battle fields, but, can be one who stands up for her people and seeks justice and inherent rights -- Rosebud Yellow Robe, Pocahontas, Susan La Flesche and many others were such warriors.

Marie Flint: I so agree with MizBejabbers about your comments and metaphysical interests. I have written here at HubPages on twin souls and reincarnation and have gotten some very wonderful comments and praise on those hubs. You see, I write with a "target audience" in mind and it is all from my heart and spirit. Often my writing on these type subjects is directed from ancestors and Native American grandmothers of the past. I am a seer, clairvoyant and spiritual coach, I do not fear what others may think, for I know my truths and have faith in myself. Do not ever fear to write what is in your heart -- and please do not deprive people like MizBejabbers and myself from reading what you like to write. And, do not deprive yourself from following your heart and passions. I look forward to your writings that you are holding back from us. :)


ziyena profile image

ziyena 3 years ago from Southern Colorado

"Those who remembered said she would stand with her arms outstretched to let the wind caress her skin. The senses she felt raised chills along her arms and she could tell where the enemy was." ~

This gives me chills too.

Wow, just wow. I call myself a history buff, but after this HUB I feel that I've mislead myself ... never heard of Lozen, and THANK YOU


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

ziyena, how nice to meet you. Thanks for stopping by and reading my hub. I love history and seem to be wandering through it a lot. Lozen was a fascinating woman and very courageous. There were many women warriors in her time. Thanks again.


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 3 years ago from East Coast, United States

Hi Phyllis - I so enjoyed reading about Lozen. How ironic and sad that such a woman would be cut down by a disease like TB. We tend to think of indigenous American women as low level workers and laborers, crafts makers yes, but here is this shaman and warrior who worked so hard and risked her life to save others. What a story! (Voted up and shared)


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 3 years ago from Australia

Hi Phyllis. I am struck by the power of the image of the group desperately trying to regain their homelands. I greatly enjoyed the unfolding of this story and feel truly sad for Lozen and her people. What a brilliant hub!

Voted up +.


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 3 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

Lozen was an amazing woman! It was very rare for women to fight in battle along side the men. She was obviously an exceptional woman and very brave. I appreciate that she would look after the woman and children first. This is a wonderful hub, voting up and awesome! :)


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 3 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I should probably have guessed, but I did not know there were any women warriors in any of the tribes. Appreciate your bringing it to our attention.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Dolores, thank you so much for the visit and comment. I truly appreciate your interest and votes and am so glad you enjoyed reading about Lozen. She was a remarkable woman who believed in herself and put her people first. Thank you again.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

LongTimeMother, I am so happy to know you enjoyed the story of Lozen. Thank you so much for the visit and comment. The tribe fought desperately and had great skills as warriors. It is sad that they were overcome by people who did not understand the Apache need for survival of their homelands, their way of life, and their people. Thanks again for your visit -- I so appreciate it.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

sgbrown, I so appreciate your visit and comment, thank you. Yes, Lozen was an amazing woman. Their were other women warriors in the same tribe and other tribes, but not much has been written about them. Lozen put herself in harm's way without even thinking about it, for the women and children. Remarkable woman and warrior she was. Thanks again.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

dahoglund, thank you so much for the visit and comment. I am thinking there were a lot more women warriors in many tribes who fought along side their men to protect the people and their way of life. Thanks again for the visit, I really appreciate it.


Lady Summerset profile image

Lady Summerset 3 years ago from Willingboro, New Jersey

What an interesting Hub! I had never heard about your woman warrior before. A good read!


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Lady Summerset, how nice of you to stop by and read my hub, I really appreciate it. There were many women warriors in Native American tribes who fought in battles for their people and homelands. Sadly, there is just not much to be found in the pages of history about them. Thank you so much for your visit and comment.


Greensleeves Hubs profile image

Greensleeves Hubs 2 years ago from Essex, UK

Hi Phyllis. It is always interesting to read about the lives of historic peoples - in this case Native Americans - who most of us only know about through the trivialised and clichéd stories of Hollywood cinema. And to learn about those details of daily life which are not normally shown in such films.

Indeed thinking about it, the story of Lozen would surely make a good and moving drama, if handled with authenticity and sensitivity. Certainly she deserves to be better known, and your hub helps with that. Voted up. Alun


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Hi Alun. Glad you enjoyed the article. Thank you for your kind words, I appreciate it.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 16 months ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

Revised hub by author, August 15, 2015. I hope you enjoy the addition of a brief history of the Chiracahua Apache.

I so appreciate the comments already received by readers. Thank you.


Tammy Crawford 15 months ago

I believe that Geronimo and lozen and dahteste was reincarnated to myself and father and sister . why.??? Us.???


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 15 months ago from High desert of Nevada. Author

How interesting, Tammy. Thanks for the visit.

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