Born into the Chihenne band during the late 1840's, Lozen was a skilled warrior and a prophet. According to legends, she was able to use her powers (Diya) and (Inda-ce-ho-ndi = "Enemies-Against-Power") in battle to learn the movements of the enemy.
Victorio is quoted to have said that "Lozen is my right hand... strong as a man, braver than most, and cunning in strategy. Lozen is a shield to her people."
"Lozen began fighting Mexican soldiers and scalp hunters, eternal enemies of her band, when she came of age in the 1840s...", writes Aleshire. "After the Americans arrived in 1848 to lay claim to her homeland, she battled them as well."
Dahteste, her fellow female warrior, also fought in some of these battles.
As the band fled American forces, Lozen inspired women and children, frozen in fear, to cross the surging Rio Grande. "I saw a magnificent woman on a beautiful horse—Lozen, sister of Victorio. Lozen the woman warrior!", remembers James Kaywaykla, a child at the time, riding behind his grandmother. "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."
Immediately, the other women and the children followed her into the torrent. When they reached the far bank of the river, cold and wet but alive, Lozen came to Kaywaykla’s grandmother. "You take charge, now", she said. "I must return to the warriors", who stood between their women and children and the onrushing cavalry. Lozen drove her horse back across the wild river and returned to her comrades.
According to Kaywaykla, "She could ride, shoot, and fight like a man, and I think she had more ability in planning military strategy than did Victorio." He also remembers Victorio saying, "I depend upon Lozen as I do Nana" (the aging patriarch of the band).
Late in Victorio’s campaign, Lozen left the band to escort a new mother and her newborn infant across the Chihuahuan Desert from Mexico to the Mescalero Apache Reservation, away from the hardships of the trail.
Equipped with only a rifle, a cartridge belt, a knife, and a three-day supply of food, she set out with the mother and child on a perilous journey through territory occupied by Mexican and U.S. Cavalry forces. En route, afraid that a gunshot would betray their presence, she used her knife to kill a longhorn, butchering it for the meat.
She stole a Mexican cavalry horse for the new mother, escaping through a volley of gunfire. She then stole a vaquero’s horse for herself, disappearing before he could give chase. She also acquired a soldier’s saddle, rifle, ammunition, blanket and canteen, and even his shirt. Finally, she delivered her charges to the reservation.
There, she learned that Mexican and Tarahumara Indian forces under Mexican commander Joaquin Terrazas had ambushed Victorio and his band at Tres Castillos, three stony hills in northeastern Chihuahua.
According to Stephen H. Lekson in his monogram Nana's Raid: Apache Warfare in Southern New Mexico, 1881, Terrazas, on October 15, 1880, "surprised the Apaches, and in the boulders of Tres Castillos, Victorio’s warriors fought their last fight. Apache tradition holds that Victorio fell on his own knife rather than die at the hands of the Mexicans. Almost all the warriors at Tres Castillos were killed, and many women died fighting; the older people were shot, while almost one hundred young women and children were taken for slaves. Only a few escaped."
Lozen also fought beside Geronimo after his breakout from the San Carlos reservation in 1885, in the last campaign of the Apache wars. With the band pursued relentlessly, she used her power to locate their enemies--the U.S. and Mexican cavalries. According to Alexander B. Adams in his book Geronimo, "she would stand with her arms outstretched, chant a prayer to Ussen, the Apaches’ supreme deity, and slowly turn around." Lozen's prayer is translated in Eve Ball's book In the Days of Victorio:
"By the sensation she felt in her arms, she could tell where the enemy was and how many they numbered", Adams writes.
Like many other imprisoned Apache warriors, she died in confinement of tuberculosis sometime after 1887. Nevertheless, her life was noted as a validation of the respected place women held among the Apaches.