Taza (Chiricahua leader)


Grave of Taza
Born c. 1843
Chiricahua country
Died September 26, 1876(1876-09-26)
Washington D.C.
Allegiance Chiricahua Apache Indians
Years of service 1860–1876
Rank Chief or Leader of Chiricahua Apaches
Battles/wars Apache Wars
Relations Cochise (father)

Taza (also Tazi; Tazhe; Tah-ze; Tahzi; Tahzay; Tazhay) (c. 1843 – 26 September 1876) was the son of Cochise, leader of the Chihuicahui local group of the Chokonen and principal chief of the Chokonen band of the Chiricahua Apache and his principal wife Dos-teh-seh (“Something-at-the-campfire-already-cooked”), the daughter of Mangus Coloradas, leader of the Copper Mines and last leader of the Mimbreños local groups of the Chihenne band and principal chief of the Chihenne band of the Chiricahua Apache.[1]

Chief Taza

Taza was the older full brother of Naiche (Natchez). Taza succeeded his father Cochise as chief of the Chiricahuas when the latter died in 1874, two years after the Chiricahua Reservation was established by General Howard.[2] In 1876 the tribe was removed from the Chiricahua reservation to San Carlos, and in September of the same year Taza was one of a delegation of Apaches taken to Washington D.C. for a visit. He fell ill in Washington and died there of pneumonia on September 26, 1876, after only about two years as chief.[3]

He is buried in Congressional Cemetery Washington D.C.[4] Taza’s mother Dos-teh-seh, his brother Naiche, and his half-sisters Dash-den-zhoos and Naithlotonz (Naiche-dos), lived through the prisoner-of-war period and went to Mescalero.[5]

It is unknown if a portrait of Taza was ever made; an alleged "photograph" of Taza was actually made of Native American named George Noche in 1886[6][7]


The 1954 film Taza, Son of Cochise was directed by Douglas Sirk and stars Rock Hudson as Taza.[8]


  1. Thrapp, Dan L. (1 June 1991). Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography: A-F. U of Nebraska Press. p. 291. ISBN 0-8032-9418-2.
  2. Sweeney, Edwin R. (21 November 2012). Cochise: Chiricahua Apache Chief. University of Oklahoma Press. p. 395. ISBN 978-0-8061-7156-2.
  3. Cozzens, Peter (25 October 2016). The Earth Is Weeping: The Indian Wars for the American West, 1866-1891. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. p. 382. ISBN 978-0-307-95804-4.
  4. Miles, Robert A. (16 January 2014). A Growing Nation. Xlibris Corporation. pp. 129–130. ISBN 978-1-4836-3575-0.
  5. Robinson, Sherry (January 2003). Apache Voices: Their Stories of Survival as Told to Eve Ball. UNM Press. p. 62. ISBN 978-0-8263-2163-3.
  6. Indian Country Today Oct 12, 2016
  7. Smithsonian Institution Record website {reference only)
  8. Leonard, Suzanne; Tasker, Yvonne (20 November 2014). Fifty Hollywood Directors. Taylor & Francis. p. 278. ISBN 978-1-317-59393-5.
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