List of the African Tribe Women Warriors & Queens
African women of antiquity were legendary for their beauty and power. Especially great were the women and Queens of Ethiopia.
African tribe history and in some cases survived into modern times. One of the great African tribe warrior queens of the ancient world was Majaji, who led the Lovedu tribe which was part of the Kushite Empire during the Kushite’s centuries long war with Rome. The empire ended in 350 AD when the Kushite stronghold of Meroe fell to repeated Roman assaults. Majaji led her warriors in battle armed with a shield and spear and is believed to have died on the walls of Meroe.The Egyptian warrior queens, descended from the royal house of Kush, included Ahotep, the 7 Cleopatras and Arsinoe II & III. They ruled Egypt and led her army and navy through Roman times.
Nehanda (1862-1898) was a priestess of the MaShona nation of Zimbabwe. She became a military leader of her people when the British invaded her country. She led a number of successful attacks on the English but was eventually captured and executed.
Mbande Zinga was the sister and advisor of the king of Ngola (today Angola) and served a his representative in negotiating treaties with the Portuguese. She became queen when her brother died in 1624 and appointed women, including her two sisters Kifunji and Mukumbu, to all government offices. When the Portuguese broke the peace treaty she led her largely female army against them inflicting terrible casualties while also conquering nearby kingdoms in an attempt to build a strong enough confederation to drive the Portuguese out of African tribe women. She accepted a truce and then agreed to a peace treaty in 1635. She continued to rule her people and lived to be 81. When Angola became an independent nation in 1975 a street in Luanda was named in her honor.
Seh-Dong-Hong-Beh was a leader of the Dahomey Amazons under King Gezo.tumblr_mrfv3bcFvJ1s3a4wlo1_500 In 1851 she led an army of 6,000 women against the Egba fortress of Abeokuta. Because the Amazons were armed with spears, bows and swords while the Egba had European cannons only about 1,200 survived the extended battle. In 1892 King Behanzin of Dahomey (now Benin) took up arms against the French colonists over trading rights. He led his army of 12,000 troops, including 2,000 Amazons trained by Seh-Dong-Hong-Beh into battle. Despite the fact that the Dahomey army was armed only with rifles while, the French had machine guns and cannons, the Amazons attacked when the French troops attempted a river crossing, inflicting heavy casualties. They engaged in hand to hand combat with the survivors eventually forcing the French army to retreat. Days later the French found a bridge, crossed the river and defeated the Dahomey army after fierce fighting. The Amazons burned fields, villages and cities rather than let them fall to the French but it merely delayed Dahomey being absorbed as a French.
Mantatisi, warrior queen of the baTlokwas in the early 1800s fought to preserve her tribal lands during the wars between Shaka Zulu and Matiwane. She succeeded in protecting the baTlokwas heritage although her son, who became King when she died, was eventually defeated by Mahweshwe.
Taytu Betul (1850-1918) was Empress of Ethopia. During her 14 year reign she established and named the modern capital of Addis Ababa, she led troops in battle and negotiated peace treaties. She retired from public life after the death of her husband.
Amina, the Queen of Zaria (1588-1589). Queen aminaShe was queen of Zazzua, a part of Nigeria now known as Zaria where matrilineal equality allowed women to rule as well as men. She was born around 1533 during the reign of Sarkin (king) Zazzau Nohir; she was probably his granddaughter. Zazzua was one of a number of Hausa city-states which dominated the trans-Saharan trade after the collapse of the Songhai Empire to the west. Its wealth was due to trade of mainly leather goods, cloth, kola, salt, horses and imported metals. At the age of sixteen, Amina became the heir apparent (Magajiya) to her mother, Bakwa of Turunku, the ruling queen of Zazzua. Although her mother’s reign was known for peace and prosperity, Amina decided to immerse herself in military skills from the warriors. Queen Bakwa died around 1566 and the reign of Zazzua passed to her younger brother Karama. At this time Amina emerged as the leading warrior of Zazzua cavalry. Her military achievements brought her great wealth and power. When Karama died after a ten-year rule, Amina became queen of Zazzua.