Clara de la Rocha, a likely inspiration for Leia’s hair (along with native Hopi hairstyles), was a Mexican revolutionary: “She actually crossed a river on horseback … and was able to take out a power station in order to allow the rebel forces to attack during night without being seen. She was a grizzled woman, as her father was. They were mountain people, and were actually miners and owned a lot of land. They were business people.”
But given that George Lucas said he was emulating “turn-of-the-century Mexico” and “kind of Southwestern Pancho Villa woman revolutionary look,” it seems that soldaderas like de la Rocha (who in turn may have been adopting Hopi styles) were a more direct inspiration for Leia.
(thanks Dayanara for sending this in!)