Kirkus Reviews QR Code
WARRIOR WOMAN by Peter Aleshire

WARRIOR WOMAN

The Story of Lozen, Apache Warrior and Shaman

By Peter Aleshire

Pub Date: April 16th, 2001
ISBN: 0-312-24408-8
Publisher: St. Martin's

An absorbing but overwhelmingly speculative tale of a Cheyenne woman who rode with Apache war parties and used her spirit-given powers to avoid enemy traps.

History—and legend—around the world is full of the stories of valiant women who used their brains, courage, charisma, and occasional magic to rescue their people from danger and despair. Diligent research on the part of scholars has often managed to separate the legend from the reality; Lozen falls somewhere in between. Apparently she did exist, and she did indeed travel with the warriors—particularly those led by her brother Victorio (a well-known Apache leader), but also with Geronimo. Although wives and even children often traveled with their men on war parties, Lozen was notable because she was unmarried and said to have been often invited into the councils of the leaders. The talents that gave her entrée included her ability to locate the enemy, to calm and control the horses (she was also known as “Dexterous Horse Thief”), and to heal. She could pinpoint her foes, it was said, by holding her hands up and turning in a circle. Her palms would begin to heat as she faced the direction of the enemy; the hotter they got, the closer “White Eyes” (US Army soldiers and scouts) were. After her brother was killed, her powers seemed to wane, but she continued to ride on revenge raids, killing many with both rifle and knife. She is believed to have died in Florida, as the Apache bands were being herded from reservation to reservation by the US government. Unfortunately, because so little verifiable material is available about Lozen, Aleshire (American Studies/Arizona State Univ.) is often reduced to inference and conjecture.

A gripping story, this will appeal to adventure-seeking women in search of role models, although it suffers mightily from a dearth of facts.