Gouyen (an Anglicization of Mescalero Góyą́ń "the one who is wise"), was a 19th century Apache woman noted for her heroism. She was born circa 1857 into Chief Victorio's Warm Springs Apache band; she died in 1903 and was buried in the Apache prisoner-of-war cemetery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Gouyen's first husband was killed in a Comanche raid in the 1870s; her heroic actions to avenge her husband's death are legendary in Apache oral history. She tracked the Comanche chief who scalped her husband to his camp. She found the chief watching a Victory Dance around a bonfire with her husband's scalp hanging from his belt. After donning a buckskin puberty ceremony dress, Gouyen slipped into the circle of dancers, eventually seducing the drunken chief to a secluded spot. After a struggle, she stabbed the Comanche to death with his own knife, and then scalped him and removed his beaded breechcloth and moccasins. Stealing a horse, Gouyen rode triumphantly back to her camp, presenting her in-laws with the Comanche leader's scalp and clothing as evidence of her revenge.
Gouyen was a member Victorio's band during their final days evading U.S. and Mexican troops along the U.S.-Mexican border. On October 14, 1880, the group was resting at Tres Castillos, Mexico when they were surrounded and attacked by Mexicans soldiers. Seventy-eight Apaches were killed, including Victorio, and others were taken captive. Only seventeen Apaches escaped, including Gouyen and her young son, Kaywaykla. Her infant daughter was apparently killed in the attack.
Gouyen's second marriage was to an Apache warrior named Kaytennae, who also escaped during the Battle of Tres Castillos. Afterward, Kaytennae was a member of Nana and Geronimo's band during the early 1880s and was involved with their escape from the San Carlos Reservation in 1883. During their maneuvers evading capture, Gouyen once saved Kaytennae's life by killing a man trying to ambush him. In 1886, Gouyen and her family were taken prisoner by the U.S. Army along with others in Geronimo's band and were ultimately held at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where she died in 1903.
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