Warrior Women: Woman Chief

Woman Chief (1806-1854)

  • Woman Chief was a revered female warrior of the Crow Tribe.
  • She may also have been called Pine Leaf and Biawacheeitche.
  • This Warrior Woman was born into the Gros Ventres people of Montana.
  • After being taken prisoner at the age of 10, Woman Chief was raised by the Crows.
  • Since her adopted father had lost all his sons, he encouraged her tom-boy pursuits.
  • Yet even when engaging in masculine activities she always wore female attire.
  • Woman Chief excelled at horse riding, shooting, and dressing buffalo.
  • When he father died she took control of his lodge and went on several raids against the Blackfoot.
  • She raised her own band of warriors that took many horses and scalps.
  • Woman Chief had four wives.
  • Following the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851), she became involved in inter-tribal negotiations.
  • After several years of peace this remarkable warrior was ambushed and killed by her original birth tribe.

Sources:

Brodell, Ria. “Butch Heroes,” at https://www.riabrodell.com/biawacheeitche-or-woman-chief-aka-barcheeampe-or-pine-leaf/

Wikipedia, “Woman Chief,” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woman_Chief

Warrior Women: Buffalo Calf Road Woman

Buffalo Calf Road Woman (c. 1850 – 1879)

  • Buffalo Calf Road Woman was born around 1850 into the Northern Cheyenne Tribe.
  • She was married to Black Coyote and had two children.
  • This Warrior Woman gained fame when she rescued her brother, Comes In Sight, at the Battle of the Rosebud in 1876.
  • Comes In Sight and his horse were injured and left on the battlefield when the Cheyenne retreated.  Buffalo Calf Road Woman rode out under fire, at full gallop, hauled up her brother, and managed to get him to safety.
  • Her remarkable act of bravery rallied the remaining Cheyenne toward a final victorious push against General George Cook’s soldiers.
  • In her honor, the Cheyenne call the Battle of the Rosebud, The Fight Where The Girl Saved Her Brother.
  • She also accompanied her husband in the Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876).  Legend claims she was the warrior who knocked Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer from his horse before he died.
  • Buffalo Calf Road Woman and Black Coyote were part of the Northern Cheyenne exodus from Indian Territory in 1878, led by Dull Knife and Little Wolf.
  • The family were captured on route and taken into custody.
  • The Warrior Woman died from diphtheria in Miles City the following year.

Sources:

Amazing Women In History, “Buffalo Calf Road Woman: http://www.amazingwomeninhistory.com/buffalo-calf-road-cheyenne-warrior-woman/

Wikipedia, “Buffalo Calf Road, Heroic Cheyenne Warrior Woman,” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffalo_Calf_Road_Woman

Warrior Women: Lozen

Lozen (c. 1840-1889)

  • Lozen was an Apache Warrior Woman, born sometime around 1840.
  • Her childhood name was Little Sister, which later became Lozen – meaning spirited.
  • Her brother was Chief Victorio.
  • This Apache band resisted confinement on the San Carlos Reservation (Arizona) and sought refuge in Mexico.
  • Lozen fought alongside the men and accompanied Geronimo in the last campaign of the Apache Wars.  After they were forced to surrender she was taken prisoner by the U.S. military.
  • Victorio called Lozen the “shield to her people,” admiring her military strategies and skills.
  • She was a gifted horsewoman.
  • Lozen was also considered to be a Shaman or Medicine Woman.  Legend claims she could predict an enemy approach and that she had magical healing powers.  She was often called on to act as a midwife.
  • One of her famous acts of bravery was to lead her people to safety across the dangerously swollen Rio Grande River.
  • She died from tuberculosis in a military prison in Alabama.

Sources:

McWilliams, John P. Against the Wind: Courageous Apache Woman.  New York: Page, 2016.

Wikipedia, “Lozen,” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lozen