Sunday, July 31st, 2016

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10 Fearless Black Female Warriors Throughout History

Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa

Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa – Manhyia Palace Museum, Kumasi

Queen Mother Yaa Asantewaa (c. 1840–October 17, 1921)Asantewaa

Yaa Asantewaa was the queen mother of the Edweso tribe of the Asante (Ashanti) in what is modern Ghana.  She was an exceptionally brave fighter who, in March 1900, raised and led an army of thousands against the British colonial forces in Ghana and their efforts to subjugate the Asante and seize the Golden Stool, the Asante nation’s spiritual symbol of unity and sovereignty.

Yaa Asantewaa mobilized the Asante troops and for three months laid siege to the British fort of Kumasi. The British colonizers had to bring in several thousand troops and artillery to break the siege, exiling Queen Yaa Asantewaa and 15 of her closest advisers to the Seychelles. She lived in exile until her death in October 1921. Yaa Asantewaa’s War, as it is presently known in Ghana, was one of the last major wars on the continent of Africa to be led by a woman.

Ahosi or Mino Dahomey Amazons

Ahosi or Mino (Dahomey Amazons)Ahosi or Mino Dahomey Amazons

The Dahomey Amazons or Mino was an all-female military regiment of the Fon people of the Kingdom of Dahomey in the present-day Republic of Benin. They existed from the 17th century to the end of the 19th century. While European narratives refer to the women soldiers as “Amazons,” because of their similarity to the semi-mythical Amazons of ancient Anatolia, they called themselves Ahosi (king’s wives) or Mino (our mothers) in the Fon language.

The Ahosi were extremely well trained, and inculcated with a very aggressive attitude. They were ferocious fighters with a reputation for decapitating soldiers in the middle of battle, as well as those who were unfortunate to become their captives.

Seh-Dong-Hong-Beh was one of the great leaders of the Mino. In 1851 she led an army of 6,000 women against the Egba fortress of Abeokuta. Because the Mino were armed with spears, bows and swords while the Egba had European cannons, only about 1,200 survived the extended battle.

European encroachment into West Africa gained pace during the latter half of the 19th century. In 1890, King Behanzin used his Mino fighters alongside the male soldiers to battle the French forces during the First Franco-Dahomean War. The French army lost several battles to them because of the female warriors’ skill in battle.

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Comments

  1. Clear Truths says:

    Some did not take to freedom they did not accept the fact they were slaves because they loved and feared their oppressors.

  2. Papasang Coker says:

    and still do.. and those afflicted with the stockholm syndrome

  3. real history! i love it.

  4. Helen McMickle Bassett says:

    When I heard the story of Yaa Asantewaa on my only trip to Africa, I was struck by the power of her spirit, and I could feel it as we listened to the museum curator…..so pleasing to see her story remembered and shared in popular American press, and of course all the other women noted. .

  5. Real History.

  6. I am always impressed by courage everywhere. These women have made us who we are today. May they be remembered forever.

  7. Kiya Tsegaye says:

    where is Taitu Bitul of Ethiopia?

  8. exactly what i was thinking….they're missing taitu!

  9. Hiwot Atikilti says:

    the story of few great people is a little difficult for some to understand

  10. Missing Queen Mary of the Virgin Islands

  11. nice. im going to let my girls read this

  12. nice. im going to let my girls read this

  13. Tengo Kilumanga says:

    powerful

  14. Nancy Dierckx says:

    Better the mother theresa…

  15. Sophie Kindem says:

    Mmmh Interesting 🙂

  16. Josephine Alade says:

    These I called "Brave Hearts"… You'll forever be remembered Gid bless you for these roles you played..

  17. Josephine Alade says:

    God

  18. Sondra Satcher says:

    We come from such courageous black women. We must remember them and keep their spirit alive.

  19. Thanks so much for this, I had forgotten about our Diaspora in Tasmania (pause for some twat to say 'oh but they are not the same people as you Africans' then ignore it) , I think the last full blooded one was paraded around england aristocracy and raped continually.

  20. Seth Muriithi Imanyara says:

    Finally Real History to kill the 'Africans sold Africans' myth our brothers and sisters in the diaspora have believed for so long. There were lots of fearless women then and even more now. Makes me respect my sisters and mothers even more.

  21. Bazz Galoreizm says:

    ASANTEHENE…YAA ASANTEWAA GHANA

  22. JAH RASTAFAR I! REAL, TRUE HISTORY THAT I HAVE NOT HEARD,NOT SEEN,AND NOT TAUGHT IN THE 'HIS-TORY' BOOKS, BUT THE 'TRUTH' SHALL SET YOU FREE~QUEENS, SISTAS,LEADERS, ETC.,~YOU ROCK!!!!! 1LOVE, 1HEART~SISTA KAYA

  23. Nana Kwame Opreba says:

    Asantehemaa not Asantehene ( The reason Being That Ohene is masculine and Ohemaa is Feminine)

  24. Isaac Hunter says:

    Congratulations to your staff for publishing some quite useful and informative lists about Black people over the past few weeks. Thanks to all of you.

  25. I read it and learn new things.

  26. What about Queen Amina

  27. Toto Ndung'u says:

    Where is Mekatilili wa Menza, Kenya

  28. Maybe she fought along side Boko Haram and she was regarded as a terrorist.

  29. dead

  30. Anwar Uhuru says:

    Beautiful thank you for this knowledge

  31. Shamsoudini Simba Abdou Moussa says:

    Where is queen Sarraounia Mangou of Niger…!!???She made a fearless resistance against the french colonialists…!!!

  32. Where is ahmes nefertari, the greatest queen of kemet who fought out the invading Hyksos barbarians from Egypt and freed her people from their occupation?

  33. Sangodare Egunjobi Ifasina says:

    Thanks for the information.According to the book, History of the Yorubas, the Ahosi or Amazibs as thet were nore pipularly known were known to behead and castrate their captives.They had to remove a breast by chopping it off snd having it cauterized, as part of initiation.One is said to still be living, but no credible evident has been submitted to convince my mind. On the list of Heroines of African ancestry, lets add Cecile Fatiman of AYITI(Haiti).

  34. Our great African Mothers. You forgot or not heard of Idia the great Queen Mother of King Esigie of the ancient benin empire of Nigeria in the 16th century.

  35. Sean Bempong says:

    "Edweso" is not a "tribe" in Ashanti. Edweso is a town, a royal hamlet, of which Yaa Asantewaa was the female ruler. It's like saying Nottingham is a tribe in England.

  36. Powerful

  37. You are an epitome of an African ebony.

  38. Where is Mbuya Nehanda, she was a spiritual leader, who lead a revolution against the colonialists. inspired a whole generation to " rule yourself..

  39. where is Mrs Funmilayo Ransom Kuti. Fela's Mother, Queen Amina of Zaria, Emotan of Benin, Madam Tinubu, Moremi and sooo many African Women elsewhere? lets write collect more facts about the heroines of African Descent and preserve them for posterity for generations unborn. there are still so many of them and these ones are just from Nigeria alone… God bless Africa and her Heroes/Heroines.

  40. Darja Worldhope says:

    We hear of Florence Nightngale and Pocahontas-It is very uplifting to learn black females who defended their families and communities. I hope public schools will start incorporating in their world history classes. Maybe someone will write story books for our children about these women. Thank you providing information on African history. Parents should be using your website as a learning tool for their children.

  41. Alfred Quartey says:

    This is mind-blowing stuff. I hope more heroines would be unearthed and added to subsequent editions. Well done to your editorial staff. We are being educated all the time.

  42. Charity Nyabaya says:

    Definitely missed one of the greatest African warriors. Mbuya Nehanda was hanged for her stand against colonization and inspired a generation to fight against oppression. I hope you do more research on this amazing woman so you can understnd why for Zimbabweans she stands a the greatest female in our history.

  43. Nzinga Mbande the Queen of Angola.

  44. Theses Sisters were of African descent why are they shone in European mentallity,breast hanging out,arms exposed,they were covered. If you are going to convey a positive message , show it in the positive charater they were. This imagery is doing the same tricks as the European

  45. including aboriginal as blacks? u migh as well add indians and indonesians, anyways this is a lazy post, u never see muslim west-africans, somalians ethopians, north africans included in this post, u might as well just focus on blacks in the western word, like someone said where s queen amina or even queen sheba (who was presumed richer than king solomon). your african history lack debt

  46. including aboriginal as blacks? u migh as well add indians and indonesians, anyways this is a lazy post, u never see muslim west-africans, somalians ethopians, north africans included in this post, u might as well just focus on blacks in the western word, like someone said where s queen amina or even queen sheba (who was presumed richer than king solomon). your african history lack debt

  47. european brought the idea of covering your breast in many african culture, lots of tribes didnt cover breast , but just cover their waste even till today

  48. Denise Rae Groce says:

    Please do research before making comments about other cultures! Tribes all over Africa didn't cover their breast! For some tribes they only covered them after marriage to let others know that they were already married! Their is nothing wrong with nudity! Last time I checked, nobody was born wearing garments! It was the Europeans who made the naked body out to be sinful if it wasn't covered!

  49. They gave us 10 fearless leaders people. Stop complaining and just add your personal favorite to the list. We can do the research. Good gracious a life!

  50. They gave us 10 fearless leaders people. Stop complaining and just add your personal favorite to the list. We can do the research. Good gracious a life!

  51. I love this information! Very interesting and inspiring! I could love without the art; however, I believe most of it is stereo-typed and cliche'd. That's sad.

  52. j'aime beaucoup l'histoire noires surtout ces braves femmes

  53. Great story

  54. There is an additional segment of these brave sistas which include the Three Queens of the Virgin Islands, including Mary…

  55. I love reading history..Especially great Queen warriors. Give Thanks

  56. Hi, thanks for using my image of my painting. Could you please change the caption to read the following correct title and link the picture to my website? Credit: Carlota Leading the People (after Eugene Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People, 1830), Oil on Canvas, 72"x60" copyright 2011 by Lili Bernard http://lilibernard.com/site/artwork/antebellum-appropriations/

  57. Hi, thanks for using my image of my painting. Could you please change the caption to read the following correct title and link the picture to my website? Credit: Carlota Leading the People (after Eugene Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People, 1830), Oil on Canvas, 72"x60" copyright 2011 by Lili Bernard http://lilibernard.com/site/artwork/antebellum-appropriations/

  58. Mary Mallory says:

    Yes, to Lili!

  59. Mary Mallory says:

    Yes, to Lili!

  60. Elldwinia Brown English says:

    Awe inspiring , I love our history and can not wait to make it.

  61. that is so crazy Lili! They should not be able to do that!

  62. I would add to your request that they please mark the credit as ©Lili Bernard. That'll make the point…

  63. I would add to your request that they please mark the credit as ©Lili Bernard. That'll make the point…

  64. Undoubtedly our dynamically sisters have fought in so many battles defiantly as well as fearlessly.

    Sister Yaa Asantewaa showing her courage In standing up against the demons that wanted to take advantage not only against us, but to her families in the Ejisu kingdom of the Ashanti region and she didn't given at all.

    Sister Harriet Tubman who tricked the demons one by one in order to rescue our people from the bottomless pit and she didn't given into none.

    These aren't only our dynamic sisters of our survival, but our solders of our freedom and we shouldn't forget them.

    Also, they might be our sisterly solders politically, but both Sister Winnie Mandela and Sister Fannie Lou Hamer also made strides for our freedom too.

  65. Bazz Galoreizm says:

    Randy Hagan ….ma bad!!!!

  66. EYE absolutely LOVE Assanta Shakur! But that spot should have went to Queen Amina of Zaria. The same with Harriet Tubman, Queen Candance of Ethiopia could have been put in that slot. And please know this is NO disrespect to our Amerikkkan Heroines that have paved the way for US, but when the term Fearless Black Female Warriors is used, it is "Fearless Black Female Warriors" that should be discussed. Women who gathered and led armies, even dying in battle trying to save their land. EYE hold them kind of women in the highest respect. Queen Tiye, Queen Hatshepsut, Queen Dahia-AL-Kahina. Those are Fearless Black Female Warriors!

  67. I completely agree with this!!!!

  68. Margo Riddle-Davis says:

    Our history and people are just beautiful!

  69. what do you mean by stereotype and cliche? that what I don't like about white peopl explain me.

  70. I wish you didn't feel the need to insult me as a white person because you didn't understand my post. You are welcome to insult me personally, but adding that "white people" stuff is stereo-typing and racial profiling. That just continues the racial conflict that is a curse of our world. //These stories are about amazing, heroic women. One example of cliché and stereo-typing in the art: the art provided some of the stories turns the women into sex objects for men by displaying their breasts in totally inappropriate scenes. For example, Carlota Lukumí's picture. It means that the MAN who painted the woman hero was more interested in her breasts than her heroism. That's sick!

  71. Oh, my mistake. It was a woman painter copying a pornographic painter, Eugene Delacroix. What does the female image Liberty have to have her breasts hanging out. Titillation for men. Unfortunate choice, Lili Bernard!

  72. Love this. Things they never taught you growing up in school.

  73. Please send this to everyone… and your kids.

  74. All w do is fight, control and steal. I'm tired of war.

  75. I believe this is becoming more interesting… I believe its really that time to begin showcasing some of these great heroes. lets all come together with articles that we could lay our hands on on these genuine heroes and heroines of Africa and let and link them all up.. I will try to kick-start with articles on some of the Nigerian women I talked about earlier. pls lets keep talking about Africa. peace.

  76. It says 10 fearless Black female warriors not the only warriors. These 10 inspired me to research more so it served it purpose.

  77. nice education for black upliftment….

  78. Wow!!

  79. I wish I my teachers and minister had taught me African and black history… no one taught me my truth.

  80. I am interested in this research topic. Can you direct me to some resource materials to find other black female warriors?

  81. Thit 's lovely to read that

  82. why have do i only know one of these people they dont teach any thing in school

  83. I Love being African

  84. Nice article and thanks for including my painting. However, the title is wrong. My painting should be credited on your website as such:

    Lili Bernard. Carlota Leading the People (after Eugene Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People, 1830), 2011. Oil on Canvas, 60″x72″

    I would also appreciate your grabbing the image from my website, as the one you are using is darker than the painting appears, and does not represent my work accurately. Here is the link where you can grab the image and title. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you, Lili Bernard. http://lilibernard.com/site/artwork/antebellum-appropriations/

  85. This article was awesome, but it left out the baddest of the bad, Princess Amina. She was rare in the fact that she ruled over one of the two major areas of the Muslim north in Nigeria. It was said that after she defeated an enemy, she would have him brought to her bed where they would bump uglies and in the morning she would have that dude killed. Talk about feminism

Trackbacks

  1. […] Muhumusa and Kaigirwa were highly respected Nyabingi priestesses with both spiritual and political influence in the region that is present day Rwanda and Uganda border (1850 to 1950). Nyabingi Muhumusa proclaimed “she would drive out the Europeans” and “that the bullets of the Wazungu would turn to water against her.” […]

  2. […] Muhumusa and Kaigirwa were highly respected Nyabingi priestesses with both spiritual and political influence in the region that is present day Rwanda and Uganda border (1850 to 1950). Nyabingi Muhumusa proclaimed “she would drive out the Europeans” and “that the bullets of the Wazungu would turn to water against her.” The British passed the 1912 Witchcraft Act in direct response to the political effectiveness of this spiritually-based resistance movement. […]

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