Góyą́ń – Chiricahua Apache

Gouyen was born in 1857, into the Chihenne band of Chiricahua Apache. Her Indian name was Góyą́ń meaning the one who is wise, or Wise Woman.

There is a story of Gouyen bravery, passed down in Apache history. Her husband was killed in a Comanche, raid while he was visiting the Mescalero Apaches. The revenge of Gouyen, is legendary.
Gouyen went looking for the Comanche chief, who had killed her husband.

She found him dancing a in a victory dance around a bonfire, he had her husband’s scalp hanging from his belt. Gouyen put on buckskin puberty ceremony dress, and joined the dancers, she seduced the chief, and led him away, she killed him. Then she scalped him, cut off his breechcloth and took off his moccasins. She then returned to her camp, to present her husbands parents with the Comanche leader’s scalp, giving them his clothing and his footwear, to prove it was him. Gouyen had avenged her husband’s death.

In October 14, 1880, when Victorio’s band was evading U.S. and Mexican troops along the U.S. Mexican border.

The Chiricahua Apache, had stopped at Tres Castillos, New Mexico, for a rest, they were attacked by Mexicans. After the attack, Victorio and seventy eight Apaches had been murdered, among them Gouyen’s baby daughter.
Only Gouyen, her young son Kaywaykla, and seventeen others had escaped.

Gouyen did marry again to Kaytennae, who was an Apache warrior. Kaytennae was one of the Apaches that had escaped during the Battle of Tres Castillos.

Kaytennae and Gouyen joined Nana and Geronimo’s band, and helped with their escape from the San Carlos Reservation in 1883.

While on the run trying to evade capture, Gouyen saved Kaytennae’s life by killing a man trying to ambush him.
In 1886 Geronimo and his followers were taken prisoner by the U.S. Army and among them was Gouyen, and her family. They were taken to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Gouyen died at Fort Sill in 1903.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s