A Woman to Know: Lozen

Strong as a man, braver than most and cunning in strategy ... a shield to her people. — Chief Victorio

(Sculpture by Susan Kliwer)

Apache legends hail Victorio as chief in the 1870s, but Victorio hailed his sister Lozen, the woman warrior he called his "right hand" in battle. When Victorio's warriors of the Southern Plains fought back against American soldiers in the Apache Wars, Lozen rode into battle alongside her brother. In the final stands as her brother was preparing for defeat, it was Lozen who led the other women out of the war zone. According to legend, she relied on her powers of prophecy to protect the women, forcing her horses to swim and to to ford rivers and cross mountains.

Once she returned to her brother's side in battle, however, American forces captured her and imprisoned Lozen in an Alabama barracks. There, she continued her prophecy and prayers, sharing a chant for strength with her fellow Apache prisoners: "Upon this earth, on which we live, Ussen has power. This power is mine, for locating the enemy."

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