Preamble: After last week’s visit to the Scottish highlands, the She’s Royal series (spotlighting female royals I think Hollywood should consider) returns to America, the original Americans.
She’s Royal #8:
Her Story: Sister of prominent Apache chief, Victorio, Lozen was a warrior, with a gift for strategy, and medicine woman. Victorio is quoted in Will Roscoe’s Changing Ones: Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America as saying, “Lozen is my right hand. Strong as a man, braver than most, and cunning in strategy, Lozen is a shield to her people.” Lozen, a two-spirit, whose romantic partner was a woman named Dahteste, sat alongside her brother in council meetings and participated in warrior ceremonies. Throughout her life, which began in the 1840s, her people’s main adversary was the US government as it encroached on their land. Lozen was credited with her ability to anticipate where the enemy would be, and plan a counter-attack or re-locate as a matter of survival. Still the Chiricahua Apache lost nearly half their people in skirmishes with the US and Mexico, and were corralled unto reservations by 1870. They escaped in 1877 and continued to fight. After her brother was killed in battle in 1880, Lozen would go on to ride with the legendary Geronimo until his surrender. She was imprisoned with other Apache leaders and died, in confinement, of tuberculosis roughly two years later in 1889. It’s worth noting that Lozen, an apache war title for one who has taken horses in battle, is not her birth name; that has been lost to history. What hasn’t been lost is the anecdotal accounts of her exploits such as the one of her escorting a mother and newborn through hostile territory across the Chihuahuan Desert from Mexico to the Mescalero Apache Reservation with nothing but a rifle, a knife, and three days’ food supply. When she had to bring down a longhorn for food, she did so with only a knife, not wanting to give away their position by using her gun. She stole horses for herself and the mother, dodging gunfire – and even managed to make off with one soldier’s saddle, rifle, ammo, blanket, canteen, and shirt.
Possible casting: When I first drafted this, after some research, because, to my dis-credit, I don’t know many indigenous actresses, I thought maybe Q’orianka Kilcher, because my research suggested that she is a known Hollywood entity. But recently I saw an image of Lynnette Haozous who is a part Chiricahua Apache actor/activist who has actually played Lozen in an independent documentary film and thought …her.
Next up: Jamaica’s Queen.