The Dahomey Amazons or Mino, which means “our mothers,” were a Fon all- female military .. Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey ( 1st ed.). New York, U.S.: New York University Press. ISBN Clodfelter. One of Dahomeys’ women warriors, with a musket, club, dagger—and her .. Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey. History is rife with tales of fighting women. More often than not, these stories prove more legend than history. Dating back to the amazons of ancient Asia Minor.

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Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Alpern has chronicled this remarkable history in depth for the first time. This article needs additional citations for verification. None of this, of course, explains why this female corps arose only in Dahomey.

They learnt survival skills and indifference to pain and death, storming acacia -thorn defenses in military exercises and executing prisoners. The Dahomey kingdom was often at war with its neighbors, and captives were needed for the slave trade.

Amazons of Black Sparta : Stanley B. Alpern :

The book is about genuinely documented, real-life warrior women, who were pretty much automatically called Amazons by European observers, in the kingdom of Dahomey, on Africa’s western coast. Dawn Sam rated it really liked it Nov 07, The Dahomey women soldiers fought in slave raids, as referenced in the Zora Neale Hurston non-fiction work Barracoonand in the unsuccessful wars against Abeokuta.

By the s their numbers had grown to 6, Moreover, the women of both kingdoms prided themselves on bodies hardened from childhood by off physical exercise. Amazons of Black Sparta: Nor were female guards unknown; in the midth century, King Mongkut of Siam the same monarch memorably portrayed in quite a different light by Yul Brynner in The King and I employed a bodyguard of women.


He is the author of Amazons s;arta Black Sparta: I ordered this book to bkack my research on the Amazons of the ancient African kingdom known as Dahomey.

Amazons of Black Sparta: Women Warriors of Dahomey

Retrieved from ” https: Theoretically wives of the king and quartered in his palaces, they were actually sworn to celibacy on pain of death. The first three quarters read more like a catalogue: And yet, the only thoroughly documented amazons in world history are the women Most of them, while prejudiced, had to admit even grudgingly that blacj women were a force to be reckoned with. By the midth century, they numbered between 1, and 6, women, about a third of the entire Dahomey army, according to reports written by visitors.

Enter your email address. The newly initiated were forced to earn their place by killing a captive or be killed themselves.

Amazons of Black Sparta : The Women Warriors of Dahomey

Alpern constantly refers to his sources, comparing the differences in their perspectives and attempting to explain them based sprta time, possible prejudice, and other aspects. What were they like, these scattered survivors of a storied regiment? It appears to be thoroughly researched and meticulously end-noted. But Spartan women kept in shape to breed male warriors, Dahomean Amazons to kill them.

They terrified their neighbors. By the end of the Second Franco-Dahomean Warspecial units of the Amazons were wparta assigned specifically to target French officers. Her face is transfigured.

Amazons of Black Sparta | The Women Warriors of Dahomey | Books – NYU Press | NYU Press

A fascinating history and well-researched and -written. David rated it liked it May 13, All-female military units and formations African resistance to colonialism African women in blqck Combat occupations Military history of Africa Dahomey French West Africa Obsolete occupations Women in 17th-century warfare Women in 18th-century warfare Women in 19th-century warfare Cultural studies Feminist theory Folklore.


Curiously, the female soldiers of Dahomey resembled those of Greek legend in many ways. The French lost 5 men killed and a few dozen wounded. Sparta did not have female troops, but its women did practice sports and do other physical training like the amazons thw Dahomey.

And yet, the only thoroughly documented amazons in world history are the women warriors of Dahomy, an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western Afri History is rife with tales of fighting women. Unlike the amazons of Greek myth, spartq were vowed to celibacy as nominal wives of the king and so did not produce their own replacements.

Dating back to the amazons of ancient Asia Minor, myths of fierce, autonomous women of martial excellence abound. Ghezo recruited both men and women soldiers from foreign captives, though women soldiers were also recruited from free Dahomean women, some enrolled as young as 8 years old.

It will stand as the most comprehensive and accessible account of the woman warriors of Dahomey. When, or indeed why, Dahomey recruited its first female soldiers is not certain.

Her name was Nawi, and she died, aged well overin November Joakim Wendell rated it liked it Nov 11, Men regarded them as worthy, implacable foes. Book ratings by Goodreads. They are outstandingly brave … well trained for combat and very disciplined.

Subscribe Top Menu Current Issue. Humans Reached the Roof of the World 40, Years. Alpern’s work is an informative study. Jun 30, Divine-Asia rated it it was ok. The warriors are also the main focus and written about in Layon Gray ‘s stage play Black Sparta.