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Information about lozen

Published on February 12, 2008

Author: Susett

Source: authorstream.com

Lozen: Apache Medicine Woman & Warrior:  Lozen: Apache Medicine Woman & Warrior THE Chiricahua Apaches were among the last Native Americans to engage in armed resistance to defend their homelands. Under leaders such as Cochise and Victorio they fought efforts by the U.S. government to confine them to reservations and force them to abandon their traditional lifestyle. Geronimo was the last Apache leader to surrender. Among those who fought with him at the end was one of the most remarkable women in Native American history. Her name was Lozen, or “Little Sister,” and she is remembered by Apaches to this day as one of the most courageous warriors and most powerful medicine people in their tribe’s history. Lozen appears in this photograph of Geronimo’s band taken shortly after their surrender in 1886. Apache prisoners in route to Florida, Arizona Historical Society, Tucson. Background: Sacred Buckskin, Edward S. Curtis. A Gift from Ussen:  Lozen was born around the time the United States took control of the Southwest from Mexico in 1848. Her brother, Victorio, or Bi-duyé, was a chief of the Chihennes or Warm Springs Band of Chiricahua Apaches. The mountains of southwestern New Mexico were their homelands. Lozen preferred male roles from an early age. By the time she was a young woman, her skills in horse riding and fighting were legendary. Victorio’s daughter recalled: to have made a vow at this time never to marry, which her brother respected. The Apaches called her “Dextrous Horse Thief,” “Warrior Woman,” and “Medicine Woman.” As a fighter she was considered as fearsome as Victorio himself. James Kaywaykla, her nephew, remembered being told “she is respected above all living women.” “She was magnificent on a horse. She could handle her rifle as well as any man, most of whom she could outrun on foot. She wielded her knife with utmost skill.” A Gift from Ussen Lozen was also a powerful medicine person, the result of a vision quest she under-took as part of her coming of age ceremony. Ussen, the Apache creator god, gave her the ability to locate enemies at great distances and to heal wounds. She is also reported “The Sun’s horse is a yellow stallion; His nose, the place above his nose is of haze; His ears, of the small lightning, are moving back and forth, He has come to us“. Apache shaman’s song Slide3:  “In this world Ussen has Power; This Power He has granted me For the good of my people. This I see as one from a height Sees in every direction; This I feel as though I Held in my palms something that tingles. This Power is mine to use, But only for the good of my People.” Lozen’s powers made her invaluable on war parties and raids. Facing the sky, she would hold her arms above her head with her hands cupped and pray: She moved in a circle until she felt a tingling sensation in her hands and her palms turned purple. This indicated the direction of the enemy and his distance. With each successful prediction Lozen’s stature grew. She joined war parties and raids, and was invited to attend war dances and councils, even as she continued to do women’s chores in camp. To add to her powers, she visited older shamans and traveled into the mountains alone to fast and pray. Slide4:  Victorio himself said: “LOZEN is as my right hand. Strong as a MAN, braver than most, and CUNNING in strategy, Lozen is a SHIELD to her people.” Broken Promises:  IN 1869, the government urged Cochise, Victorio, and others to settle at Ojo Caliente (Warm Springs), New Mexico. This area had long been favored by the Chiricahuas, and so, after consulting with Lozen, Victorio agreed. But two years later the government forced the Warm Springs Apaches to relocate to Fort Tularosa, where they Warm Springs, but then in 1877 the government changed policies once again, and decided to concentrate all Apaches onto a single reservation in Arizona. Victorio’s people were forced to move again. That September, Victorio led a mass exodus from the San Carlos reservation. The Apache Wars had begun. Warm Springs San Carlos Fort Tularosa Broken Promises “Take stones and ashes and thorns, with some scorpions and rattlesnakes thrown in, dump the outfit on stones, heat the stones red hot, set the United States Army after the Apaches, and you have San Carlos.” — Owen Wister suffered through harsh winters and famine. In 1874 they were allowed to return to Victorio’s Revolt:  Victorio’s Revolt “THERE was a commotion and the long line parted to let a rider through. I saw a MAGNIFICIENT WOMAN on a beautiful black horse . . . LOZEN, the WOMAN WARRIOR! High above her head she held her RIFLE. There was a GLITTER as her right foot lifted and struck the shoulder of her HORSE. He reared, then plunged into the torrent. She turned his head UPSTREAM, and he began swimming.” Victorio eluded both American and Mexican forces for the next three years. During this time, Lozen’s skills were in constant demand. James Kaywaykla was an infant when Victorio led his final exodus in August 1879. The band was fleeing from the Mescalero Apache reservation and had reached the Rio Grande, but the horses refused to plunge into the swift-flowing river. The other horses followed and the group began crossing. When one of the horses was washed downstream Lozen followed and rescued it. As James Kaywaykla recalled: James Kaywaykla as an infant with his mother and stepfather. Lozen’s Odyssey: “No Warrior More Worthy“:  In late summer 1880, Victorio was fleeing Mexican forces. He crossed the Rio Grande into Texas only to discover American troops waiting in ambush. The weary band turned back. As they were about to cross the Rio Grande again a young woman began to give birth. Lozen offered to stay behind with her, hiding in the underbrush until the Americans passed by. Victorio continued on into Chihuahua. In October, at a remote location location called Tres Castillos, he was trapped by the Mexicans and killed along with 78 of his followers, their scalps taken for bounties. Among the handful who escaped were Lozen’s uncle Nana, the 70-year-old chief who became Victorio’s successor. Many Apaches believed that if Lozen had been with Victorio, he never would have been caught. Lozen’s Odyssey: “No Warrior More Worthy“ Slide8:  “She whom we had mourned as dead has returned to her people. Though she is a woman there is no warrior more worthy than the than the sister of Victorio.” Grande. While they hid, she killed a longhorn steer using only her knife. After nightfall, she swam across the river and stole a horse from a camp of Mexican soldiers. When the others cheered her name, Lozen began to weep. Now in her early forties, she had lost her homeland and most of her family. But her fight for freedom was not yet over. She finally rejoined them in the Sierra Madres Mountains, riding into camp with an extra horse loaded with supplies. At a war dance held soon after, Nana declared: Lozen rode with the mother and infant to their home on the Mescalero Reservation, where she learned about the fate of her brother. She then traveled alone into Mexico, looking for the trail of the survivors. Nana, Warm Springs Apache chief and Victorio's successor Meanwhile, Lozen helped the young woman give birth, then led her and the infant to the Rio Slide9:  Lozen demonstrated her bravery again in August 1881. She was at the San Carlos reservation when a gun battle broke out with soldiers attempting to arrest a medicine man. She rode into the fray and captured horses carrying over 3,000 rounds of ammunition. Soon after this, Lozen joined Geronimo and others and fled the reservation to Nana’s holdout in the Sierra Madres. The following spring, she returned to San Carlos with a party sent to retrieve the remaining members of the band. On their way back, they walked into an ambush of Mexican soldiers. During the battle that followed, Lozen ran on foot under fire to retrieve a bag of valuable ammunition. But when it was over, 75 Apaches, mostly women and children, were dead, and 22 others had been captured. A New Role and a Friend:  A New Role and a Friend On these missions, she was often accompanied by a younger woman named Dahteste (pronounced “tah-DOT-say“). Dahteste had been with her husband on Geronimo’s on raids for three years and was seasoned fighter. James Kawaykla describes the two women as being together throughout this period. (Dahteste’s husband eventually returned his first wife.) Nana and Lozen now fought with Geronimo, or Goyakla, the wiley, unpredictable, hard-drinking medicine man from a related band of Chiricahuas. Together they confounded all efforts to capture them for two and a half years. Geronimo was a brilliant guerilla fighter, but he knew when to use diplomacy as well. For this, Lozen proved invaluable once again. As an unarmed woman, she could approach enemy camps and villages in order to carry messages, arrange meetings, and barter for supplies. Slide11:  In May 1883, at a conference with General George Crook in Mexico, Geronimo agreed to return to San Carlos. Several months later, when he was finally ready turn himself over, Lozen and Dahteste made the first contact with the American officer sent to escort them across the border. By mid-1885, Geronimo was in flight again, and American troops were crossing the border to find him. With his options narrowing, he sent Lozen and Dahteste into the village of Bavispe to arrange for a peace council. When they left, some of the villagers followed them, hoping to find Geronimo’s hideout, but the Apache women easily eluded them. Geronimo General Crook Conference between Geronimo and Crook in Mexico, March 1886. Geronimo decided to take his chances with the Americans. In January 1886, Lozen and Dahteste arranged a meeting at which Geronimo agreed to attend another conference with Crook that March. Crook convinced him to surrender, but as they were returning to Arizona the Apache leader began drinking. Once again he changed his mind and with a handful of followers fled back into the desert. Slide12:  In July, Miles received a report that two Apache women had entered the village of Fronteras to arrange a peace council. Afraid he might lose credit for ending Geronimo’s outbreak, he gave up trying to defeat him militarily and sent Lieutenant Charles B. Gatewood and two Apache scouts to find him and negotiate his surrender. Crook resigned and General Nelson Miles was sent to replace him. Miles deployed thousands of troops to search for Geronimo and created an elaborate signaling system using mirrors to flash messages from mountaintops throughout the region. In the words of one historian, “Probably never before in American military history have so many men pursued so few.” Miles also had 400 peaceful Chiricahuas from the San Carlos reservation sent to prison in Florida to prevent them from joining or aiding Geronimo. Geronimo and his warriors, March 1886 Slide13:  In fact, Geronimo never intended to negotiate with the Mexicans. Lozen and Dahteste’s real goal was to barter for supplies and liquor. In this they succeeded, leaving with three loaded horses. Lieutenant Gatewood arrived soon after they left. His scouts picked up the women’s trail and followed them to Geronimo’s lair. When they reached the top of the trail, Geronimo and his warriors, including Lozen, awaited them. Geronimo met with Gatewood the next day. He had been drinking the night before, and his hands were shaking. His followers had been reduced to 15 men, 14 women, and 6 children. They were tired of fighting and homesick for their families—but undefeated. At Fronteras, the authorities tried to delay Lozen and Dahteste, hoping to lure Geronimo into the village and trap him. But an American officer convinced them to let the women leave, so they could convince Geronimo to surrender. Geronimo’s camp in the Sierra Madres Mountains. Nachez and Geronimo at Fort Bowie following their surrender Final Surrender:  Final Surrender Geronimo and his remaining followers surrendered to General Miles on September 4, 1886, They were shipped in cattle cars to Florida, where they joined the Chiricahuas already imprisoned by Miles. They would remain prisoners of war for the next 27 years. The woman sitting next to Lozen has been identified as Dahteste. According to James Kaywaykla, at the time of their surrender, “Dahteste was with Lozen.” Slide15:  Poor conditions in Florida led to the deaths of 23 Chiricahuas and public outcries on their behalf. In 1887, they were relocated to Mount Vernon Barracks, Alabama. Conditions remained difficult, but the Apaches tried to resume normal lives and observe their traditional customs and ceremonies. This photograph shows a group of women gambling. The two women sitting in center appear to Lozen and Dahtetse. It was here—in Alabama, in June 1889—that Lozen died of tuberculosis. She was buried in an unmarked grave as were as many as 50 other Apaches who died there from various diseases. In 1913, the Chiricahuas were finally given the choice of returning to New Mexico. Dahteste was among those who settled on the Mescalero reservation. She remarried and raised a family, but she was said to have mourned Lozen’s death the rest of her life. She died in her nineties. Slide16:  The historical sources raise as many questions about Lozen as they answer. Few Apaches spoke of her to outsiders until James Kaywaykla’s narrative was published in 1970. Various reasons have been given for this. One is that the Apaches are protective of her reputation—either because virtuous, unmarried women normally never joined men on war parties or because the details of her life suggest she might be lesbian. Asking whether Lozen was a lesbian in today’s sense of preferring relationships with other women, or if she was The Woman Warrior: A Question of Identity a traditional two-spirit, or third gender, person, are valid questions. After all, she never married, she excelled at male skills, and her closest relationship seems to have been with another woman. An alternative gender role for females, however, has not been documented for the Apaches, although some of their neighbors such as the Yuman-speaking tribes along the Colorado River and their linguistic relatives, the Navajo, did have such roles. For now these questions about Lozen’s identity can’t be answered. But whether she was lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual or celibate, cannot detract from the contributions she made in protecting and fighting for her people in the face of desperate odds. Slide17:  “I have frequently been asked why nobody but Kaywaykla mentioned Lozen. His explanation was that the Apaches respected her and were protecting her from criticism. Only wives of warriors went on the warpath with their husbands” — Eve Ball, An Apache Odyssey “To us she was as a Holy Woman and she was regarded and treated as one….And she was brave!” — Charlie Smith, An Apache Odyssey “Dilth-cleyhen’s mother laughed as she told the story….” — Apache Mothers and Daughters “Conceivably the tale has been used by the Apaches as a means of protecting Lozen from those who would label her as a lesbian or transvestite” — Kimberly Moore Buchanan “Apparently unable to accept that Lozen might simply have wished to remain unmarried, some researchers have instead repeated a romantic yarn that has no basis in historical fact” — Sherry Robinson “One story of Lesbianism continually goes the rounds. They say that there were two women at Fort Sill who lived together and had sexual relations together….” — Morris E. Opler, An Apache Life-way “Dahteste was with Lozen…”: Competing Voices ? “Lozen was too young for marriage, but she had seen this chief, and no other man ever interested her. She put marriage from her mind and rode beside her brother as a warrior. She lives solely to aid him and her people.” — Gouyen, James Kaywaykla’s mother Slide18:  Copyright 2005 Will Roscoe Do not copy or distribute. Additional topics: Gender: sex/gender, two-spirits and alternative/multiple genders Apache history/timeline James Kawaykla and his narrative

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