Pretty Nose (c. 1851 – after 1952) was an Arapaho woman, and according to her grandson, was a war chief who participated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876.

In some sources, Pretty Nose is called Cheyenne, although she was identified as Arapaho on the basis of her red, black and white beaded cuffs. The two tribes were allies at the Battle of the Little Bighorn and are still officially grouped together as the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes.

According to a 1878 Laton Alton Huffman photograph which shows the two girls together, Pretty Nose had a sister named Spotted Fawn who was 13 in 1878 making Spotted Fawn about 14 years younger than Pretty Nose.

Pretty Nose's grandson, Mark Soldier Wolf, became an Arapaho tribal elder who served in the US Marine Corps during the Korean War. She witnessed his return to the Wind River Indian Reservation in 1952, at the age of 101.

During the nineteenth century Indian women, and particularly Indian women leaders, were invisible to the American government. Some Indians have gone so far as to say that the Americans were so afraid of Indian women that they would not allow them to sit or speak in treaty councils with the United States government. Even today, Indian women are conspicuous by their absence in American history.

Portrait of Pretty Nose wearing cloth dress with woven cloth belt and buffalo robe. Also wearing earrings, bracelet, rings, and necklace - Date (Unknown or Estimated) [1878]

Sisters: Spotted Fawn and Pretty Nose holding hands.

Responses to "Pretty Nose: A Fierce and Uncompromising Woman War Chief You Should Know"

  1. Al says:

    I would that I had known of her before. To honor her should have occurred long ago, for this I apologize.

  2. Absolutely in breath of knowing the difference

  3. Anonymous says:

    wow just wow

  4. Anonymous says:

    She is on the cover of and is mentioned in a very beautiful book called "the Mothers' Revenge" by Jim Fergus. Not sure it's been published in the US though. But this book and it's prequel have been huge in France. The book very much honors her courage. I am glad to know she lived to more than 109 years old!

  5. Unknown says:

    Stand up for our original Americans - even today we 'disappear' them and continue to take what is their's. Shameful. Honor her history and that of her people.

  6. Unknown says:

    as a native American by heritage I am always for my sisters....

  7. Anonymous says:

    Wish I could have sat down and learned from this proud, strong, wise and fearless woman! The western world and settlers have disrespected and tried to hide their greed and rape of these authentic nature preserving people for too long! It's time to elect Native Americans to rule the US government and see what difference it could make for the future of this planet!

  8. strayaway says:

    beautiful proud and powerful people....honoured

  9. Paula says:

    Thank you for sharing her story with us. <3

  10. Unknown says:


  11. Billvz says:

    Might be time to put the Indians back in charge. At least they treasured the earth and took care to preserve it. We should take some lessons from them. How is it we never see an Indian run for President. They have more right to the job than anyone!

  12. Ria Swift says:

    You said nothing about her. Would be great to know why she was considered fierce.

  13. LA Huffman set up a studio at Fort Keogh at the confluence of the Tongue and Yellowstone rivers. These photos come out of that time period right after The Battle of Greasy Grass.

  14. I want to say her name. Not the English translation, but her real name. It feels hollow not to use her real name. I would honor her by speaking her name.

  15. Anonymous says:

    To disregard our indigenous people to the degree it has been done is SHAMEFUL. Instead, non-native men go to the reserves and abuse and rape the women knowing they will most likely get away with it. And yet we insist on telling other countries to follow our lead on human rights. HAH !

  16. Anonymous says:

    Tamera Danforth is right.. I, too would Honor Her by using her Native Name. and LEARN MORE about Our Warrior Sisters!

  17. Anonymous says:

    Wow is right! So much made up really bad history crammed into a few paragraphs.
    This is all New Age fantasy stuff.

  18. Anonymous says:

    As an Annishnaabe Kwe I grew up with Grandparents, 1 assimilated (not by choice) 1 not all assimilated. Funny how I learned to be kind to all people, to fight for those who cannot, to honor the earth as best I can...but I am a dying way of life. For in today's world I do not see much kindness, compassion for others, nor happiness.
    Is it too late for CHANGE, how does one get youth to stop bullying just to make their selves feel better...YOU start by appointing out the GOOD in them.

  19. neache says:

    Great Respect for the woman warriors and all of Native American Sisters may the Great Spirit keep you safe and in the embrace of Honor and Respect for eternity

  20. ANONYMOUS says:

    I colorized these photos - wish I could post them -

  21. Hoka Hey, strong beautiful Women !

  22. Anonymous says:

    I lived with the Navajo for a while. Great people.

  23. Shanti says:

    I too wish there was more info regarding her actions as a war leader. As for the Anonymous twerp who called this "New Age fantasy stuff" - you should have more respect!

  24. I'm searching for her actual correct name. Odd that no sites I have found yet even mention that she had an indigenous name! How disrespectful!

  25. Pretty Nose is her actual name people! One of her sons name was Chief Sharp Nose. Google him. She wasn't called this because of a beautiful nose, even though her facial features are perfect! I am related to her through marriage.

  26. Idontblog says:

    Her indigenous name translates perfectly to "Pretty Nose" people, it was her name not a nickname.

  27. Unknown says:

    I posted her photo on the University of South Florida Anthropology Club's Facebook page and referenced the link to this web page.

  28. Unknown says:

    I am searching for any history regarding the detachment she led during the battle of Little BigHorn.

  29. Anonymous says:

    No doubt she fought alongside the warriors, not sure bout the rest of the story.

  30. Tom F Stechschulte says:

    It is tragic that so many wonderful stories of truly great and heroic people have not been told. It is my hope that more and more of these stories will surface to enrich all of our lives.

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