Terminatorshi of Dahomey - the most violent female warriors in history
• Terminatorshi of Dahomey - the most violent female warriors in the history of
Of the daughters - in soldiers from the household chores - to arms. The only documented female military unit in modern military history. These women lived in sub-Saharan Africa. They managed to make their colonizers tremble.
The people dubbed them Dahomey Amazons, they called themselves "N'Nonmiton", which literally means "our mother." They defended their king in the most bloody battles and were considered an elite unit of the Kingdom of Dahomey, today these areas belong to the Republic of Benin. Amazon took the oath virgins and considered untouchable. Their hallmark was beheading with the rapidity of lightning
These soldiers are not mythical characters. Last Dahomey Amazons passed away at the age of one hundred years, in 1979, this woman named Navi whiled away their days in a distant village. In better times, Amazon accounted for almost a third of Dahomey army by European standards in courage and effectiveness in combat, they were superior to men.
The history of the Amazons is rooted in the XVII century. There are suggestions that the Amazons were originally Huntress elephants and was very impressed with his agility king in this matter, while their husbands were fighting with enemy tribes. Another theory is that women were the only ones allowed in the royal palace after dark.
Thus, it is natural that they became bodyguards of the king. Whatever it was, only the strong, healthy and courageous women were elected for the careful preparation that turns them into killing machines, terrifying the whole of Africa for more than two centuries.
An armed Dutch muskets and machetes and the beginning of the XIX century the Amazon are becoming more militant and fiercely loyal to the king. Girls, starting at 8 years old, were recruited into groups and gave them weapons. Some women came to the unit voluntarily, others were sent to the husbands, complaining about their lack of control.
First of all they have been taught to be strong, fast, ruthless and capable of withstanding extreme pain. Exercise is somewhat similar to gymnastics, involves jumping over walls, entwined with prickly acacia shoots. Women also were sent to the so-called "The Hunger Games", they spent 10 days in the jungle, having only a machete. After such training, they become fanatical fighters. To prove the worth, they were to become twice as hardier men. Dahomey Amazons were standing in a battle to the last, if the King did not order to retreat and fight for life and death, they never gave up.
These women were forbidden to marry or have children until they have served. It was believed that they were married to the king. But all they kept a vow of chastity, getting almost a semi-sacred status as elite warriors. Even the king did not dare to violate their vow of chastity, and if you're not a king, then touch to the Amazon was punishable by death.
In the spring of 1863 arrived in Dahomey British explorer Richard Burton with the mission of the British Government to make peace with the people of Dahomey. Dahomeyans were belligerent nation and have been actively involved in the slave trade, it played right into their hands, allowing the capture and sell their enemies. Dahomey Amazons just struck Burton. According to him, their muscles were so designed that they know women could only chest.
The women soldiers were in an elite wing of the army, as the king's bodyguards. Some even believe that every man in the Dahomey army had its female "counterpart". Barton nicknamed the army of "black Sparta".
Women have been taught survival skills, discipline and ruthlessness. cruelty training were key to enter the king's soldiers. Ceremony set of soldiers includes checking whether the ruthless warriors potential enough to lose a prisoner with a lethal heights.
The French delegation, attended in Dahomey in 1880, watched Amazon sixteen during training. Their records say that three times she threw the machete, before the prisoner's head was cut off. She wiped them with the blood from his arms and swallowed it to the acclaim watching her Amazons. For them it was the tradition of bringing home the head and genitals enemy.
In spite of the brutal training, the women suffered. For many it was a chance to avoid heavy housework. Serving Amazons allows women to rise to the level of commanders who have the power and plays a role in the large meeting to discuss the policy of the kingdom. They could even get rich and stay single and independent. they lived, of course, with the king, but had everything you could want, even tobacco and alcohol. They were servants.
Alpern Stanley, author of the only complete study of life of the Amazons in English, wrote: "When Amazon came out of the palace, it notifies the slave with a bell. Bell men made it clear that it is necessary to leave the road, go away for some distance and look the other way. "
Even after amplification French colonial expansion in Africa in the 1890s, Dahomey Amazons continued to inspire fear. A soldier of the French army, drag any of the Amazons in bed, often found in the morning with throats cut. During the Franco-Dahomey wars, many French soldiers hesitated before killing a woman. This underestimation of the enemy led to multiple losses in the French army, the Amazon units purposefully attacked the French officers.
By the end of Second Franco-Dahomean War French still prevailed, but only after the arrival of the Foreign Legion, armed with machine guns. The recent strength of the king was forced to surrender, almost all the Amazons were killed in fierce battles of the war. Later legionaries wrote about the incredible courage and audacity of the Amazons.
In 2015, the French street artist launched a campaign to pay tribute to the implacable female fighters XIX-th century. Working in Senegal, south of Dakar, she bore the image of persons with these valiant women of old photographs found in local archives, on the walls of houses.
Since the Amazons were considered the most formidable women on the ground, they had a huge impact on the treatment of women in African countries and beyond.