The history of the Western African female soldiers known for their prowess will be revealed in a live-action series. The program is titled Amazons after the title given to the warriors in European narratives – Dahomey Amazons. It is currently in development and no network is attached yet.
Deadline reported Charles F. Johnson developed the show with French producer, writer and director Joy Fleury and producer Karen Gordy. Johnson is an African-American producer of NCIS fame. Didier Lacoste and writer-director Armand Bernardi created the project, which focuses on a unique group of women who existed the 17th century to the 19th century in the present-day Republic of Benin.
According to Atlanta Black Star, the all-female military regime were Fon people living in the Kingdom of Dahmoney. They referred to themselves as Ahosi – meaning “king’s wives” – or Mino – meaning “our mothers” in the Fon language. The women were fierce. They had no qualms about decapitating soldiers in the midst of a fight. In fact, they became known for it. Beheadings did not end on the battlegrounds. Those unlucky enough to be taken captive suffered the same fate.
In 1851 Seh-Dong-Hong-Beh, a mighty leader of the Ahosi, led an army of 6,000 against the Egba’s Abeokuta fortress in Nigeria. Though the Mino were ferocious fighters, their spears and bows were no failed against the Egba’s European cannons. Only 1,200 Mino survived as a result.
Still, Europeans themselves could not out do the Ahosi. King Behanzin – the 11th ruler of Dahomey – sent the Mino with male soldiers to take down the French in 1890 during the First Franco-Dahomean War. Teaming the women and men together showed the equality between genders in government rule. It was women’s skill in combat that led the French to lose several battles against the Fon.