Many thanks to the Mescalero Apache Tribe for looking this over and okaying it for online publication!
- The telling of Gouyen’s story comes from Eve Ball’s interview of May Peso Second in Indeh: An Apache Odyssey. I often quote directly from this account, and I consulted the Mescalero Apache Tribe Cultural Center to make sure I was doing okay by this story. For more information on the background of doing this entry, click here. ↩
- Gouyen is a title synonymous with “Wise Woman,” a title “reserved only for the intelligent and the chaste.” ↩
- Scalping was a major cultural taboo for the Apache, who believed you would arrive in the afterlife in the same condition you died – mutilating your enemy’s body was a sign of severe disrespect and only done in the most severe cases. ↩
- The Apache attitude towards revenge, as relayed by Asa Daklugie: “Though revenge was part of our philosophy, Apaches believed that eventually (the Apache creator god) Ussen would take vengeance upon our enemies. He would send some catastrophe of nature, such as an earthquake, to destroy human life on this continent. There would be no necessity for any Indian to raise a hand when Ussen deemed the time right to kill.” ↩
- Cutting off someone’s nose was a harsh punishment, usually for adultery, practiced by the Apache in prior eras. Gouyen remarks many times in the original telling of her fear that she, by breaking taboos and going against the will of her tribe, would receive the same fate. ↩
- There was also an aside about her being afraid that the tribe’s Medicine Man, a man of near-psychic ability, would find her as she snuck out. He didn’t. ↩
- I believe that traveling at night was, traditionally, a taboo for the Apache – but I cannot find the passage from which I read that, so take it with a pinch of salt. ↩
- The design for this chief is based off the clothing of Quanah Parker, a well-respected Comanche chief who has no tie to this story and was, by all accounts, a great human being. I’ve just used him as a template in order to get the clothing correct. I’ve tried to distinguish the design from Parker by giving Gouyen’s foe a scar, adjusting some of his adornments, and aging him up – no equivalence is intended. ↩
- The original telling adds the point that she knew that the riders who’d caught up to her were of her own tribe. She’d initially thought to avoid them as well, because she was convinced she was going to be met with a severe punishment (see: the noseless women above). However, she could take no more and passed out. ↩
- Later in life, Gouyen remarried and had children, although that marriage also ran into difficulties. She ended up joining Geronimo, Lozen, and a handful of other Apache in warring against the United States and Mexico as the last free-roaming Native Americans. In 1886, she, Geronimo, and the others were captured, detained, and she died as a POW in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1903. I intend on telling more of this story at a future date with an entry on Lozen. ↩
First off, Gouyen’s facial features are based off her actual appearance – we have pictures of her from later in life (after she remarried).
Other items of note:
- Gouyen’s journey is one from light to dark and back, so the art reflects that.
- Her ceremonial attire is based off the clothing seen in Apache Sunrise Ceremonies.
- As mentioned in the footnotes above, the Comanche chief’s general appearance uses that of Comanche chief Quanah Parker’s as a base to get the general details correct – but I altered his appearance, as no direct equivalence is intended. Parker has no connection to this story and was, by all accounts, a great man.
Next Time on Rejected Princesses
Enough doom and gloom for a while. Let’s go for something lighter. Here’s your hint:
She sells seashells by the seashore.