Born a Rebel in Apacheria
When Lozen entered the world, it was a much different place. New Mexico, Arizona, and Northern Mexico were all known as Apacheria. You wouldn’t think that we’d be able to tell you about the birth of a simple woman from the 1800’s, but Lozen was no simple woman. The location of her birth is just one part of her legend. Lozen was born near Ojo Caliente, where her mother could see the Sacred Mountain where the Apache people began.
Lozen was raised in Chiricahua alongside her older brother, who would become the famous Chief Victorio. But Lozen didn’t take the traditional path of a woman at the time. From the very start, she claimed the role of a warrior instead. She was seven years old when she learned to ride a horse, and she quickly became one of the best riders. Lozen never married, never cared for her appearance, and was almost indistinguishable from a man. She remained a warrior throughout her life and fought in some of the toughest battles of the Apache Wars.
The Strength of the Supernatural
Lozen was such a powerful figure, so different from other women, and so well respected, many believed that she had supernatural powers. She could heal with the power of song and herbs as a Shaman, and she could use her magic to anticipate and avoid capture by the enemy. She fought alongside the great warriors of her time, including Geronimo. Yet her powers wouldn’t be enough to save these warriors, her brother, her people, or her own life.
Surrender and Death
In 2005, the Historic Women Marker Initiative started recognizing the contributions and achievements of the great women of New Mexico. On one of these markers, you’ll find a brief account of the story of “Lozen, Little Sister.” The marker tells you where she died, but not what killed her. Little Sister Lozen ultimately surrendered in 1886 with the very last group of free Apaches. She was then taken as a prisoner to the Mt. Vernon Barracks in Alabama. There, alone in a concentration camp, she passed away from Tuberculosis around the age of 50 years old.
A Shield to Her People
Lozen lived during a time of war and destruction, and she fought valiantly to protect her people. Her brother spoke highly of her, saying that she was his right hand, that she was as “strong as a man, braver than most, and cunning in strategy.” He said, “Lozen is a shield to her people,” and this is what she strived to be throughout her life. This proud warrior of the Apache people should be remembered, and you can find her marker on US 70 in Mescalero, New Mexico. Let us know in the comments if you’ve seen it.