Her Mojave nickname was "Spantsa" which meant "rotten/sore vagina." It was, apparently, a term
of endearment that she was okay with--the tribe is know for a dirty sense
Although there's no way to know for sure, all accounts of her story
state that there was no sexual contact--but I'm not sure it would have
been discussed or recounted if it had happened. From what I've
read it was a reference to differences in hygiene habits between her and
the Mojave women. They were pretty sexually liberal as a people,
Regarding the hygiene theory, that was because the Mojave bathed
daily and were very focused on hygeine--at that time, White settlers did
In the book "Violent Encounters: Interviews on Western Massacres"
there is also a theory that the term actually translates to "rotten
womb" and referred to her being infertile. I have no idea if this is
accurate either (it seems odd given that the nickname was apparently
kind of an in-joke for her tribe). However, she never had her own kids
and later adopted, so it's possible she was infertile. -
In the 1880s, the “tattooed captive” became a popular circus theme.
“Their stories turned, provocatively, on the notion that people of color
could transform whites into people of color,” Margot Mifflin writes in The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman.