Avatar burst onto the scene in 2009 with visual effects that we had never seen before but the story was a familiar one. With strong themes of nature and spirituality, I couldn’t help being reminded of Pocahontas.
With one major exception. Neytiri did more than run through the forest singing. Her spiritual bond to the land and devotion to her people was balanced by her knowledge of combat. She was a princess and a warrior. Unlike Pocahontas, she didn’t seek permission to be with Jake. It was her decision and she was willing to spill blood to defend him. First against her own people and then again during the last fight scene.
Jake spends most of the film struggling to find his moral compass and assert his physical abilities so Neytiri actually comes across as the stronger hero between the two of them and that doesn’t happen every day!
Lozen never married; instead she devoted herself to becoming a warrior and master strategist. She fought alongside men like Geronimo and was often photographed with him, although from looking at her most people didn’t think she was a woman.
Lozen’s abilities as a seer were well respected and usually enabled her to steer her people away from danger. But one night she was unable to go with her troops into battle because she was attending to a woman in childbirth. The troops were ambushed and her brother (the chief) was killed. Many felt that if she had been there the battle would’ve been won.
Eventually, she was captured by the U.S. army and imprisoned first in Florida then Alabama where she died at the age of 50 from tubercolosis.
Before his death, her brother had this to say about his older sister: “Lozen is my right hand… strong as a man, braver than most, and cunning in strategy. Lozen is a shield to her people.”
- Geronimo the American Warrior (revivers.wordpress.com)