Warrior Woman is the story of Lozen, sister of the famous Apache warrior Victorio, and warrior in her own right. Hers is a story little discussed in Native American history books. Instead, much of what is known of her has been passed down through generations via stories and legends.
For example, it is said that she was embued with supernatural powers, given to her by the gods. She would lift her arms to the sky and place her palms against the wind, and through the heat she felt in her open hands, she could detect the direction and distance of her enemies. Whether true or not, she did ride into battle alongside Geronimo in the Apache wars, and fought bitterly and savagely until she was captured along with her people, packed into railroad cars, and sent to imprisonment in the east, where she spent her last days.
Peter Aleshire uses historical facts and oral histories to recreate her life. With immaculate detail he tells the story of her childhood, surrounded by the vastness of nature and the Chiricahua legends and religions that shaped her thoughts. He describes her coming-of-age ceremonies, and induction into her tribe as a spiritual leader. As the white men slowly took over the land of her people and forced them from one reservation to another, her role slowly evolved to match that of the staunchest warrior — an almost unheard-of occurence among the Native Americans of the 19th century, where a woman’s place was with the children in the villages.
This is not only the story of Lozen, but the story of her people, from the events leading up to the Apache Wars until their inevitable and unfortunate conclusion.