Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Real Women Warriors

Virgin women protecting a powerful man is not something that Sacha Baron Cohen invented, it is actually quite historically accurate. Though they were not from the "Republic of Wadiya" and were not scantily clad. Sorry.

The Dahomey Amazons originated from the African Kingdom of Dahomey (obviously), which is present day Republic of Benin. At first, King Houegbadja created this group to hunt elephants. When his son took over, he came up with the idea to use them for militia. I guess if they can take down an elephant, a man would be no problem!

In order to be apart of the Dahomey Amazons, which at the time were known as "Mino (Our Mothers)", the women had to have aggressive characters. Some were recruited from among the king's wives. Others were involuntarily drafted because their husbands or fathers complained of their behavior. An the rest came from volunteers. Once apart of the Mino, they were not allowed to have children or  be apart of married life, which is why many were virgins.

In 1721, King Agadja (Houegbadja's son) used the Mino to battle the neighboring kingdom of Savi. The battle resulted in complete success. For hundreds of years they were known as fearless warriors and their skill equal to any male elite.


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