Dahomey Amazons, African Fierce Warriors Queens

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The Dahomey Amazons were a Fon all-female military unit that served in the Kingdom of Dahomey (present-day Benin, West Africa) from the 17th century until the late 19th century. Fon: Agojie, Agoji, Mino, or Minon. The only all-female army in modern times was them. Because of the Greek mythology’s tale of the Amazon women warriors, Western Europeans who first saw them gave them the name “Amazons.”

Dahomey’s male population experienced great loss in combat and strife with its neighboring West-African nations. Dahomey became one of the dominant states in the slave trade with the Oyo Empire as a result, which traded slaves for goods throughout West Africa up till the present day.

The origin of dahomey amazons started with the third King of Dahomey. King Houegbadja (reigned from 1645 to 1685). He is credited with creating the Gbeto corps of elephant hunters, which later evolved into the Mino. Queen Hangbe, who ruled from 1716 until 1718, introduced a female bodyguard. European traders kept track of their presence. King Agaja used to help Dahomey overcome the nearby kingdom of Savi in 1727. The male army of Dahomey called the company of female soldiers Mino, which translates to “Our Mothers” in Fon.

From the foreign prisoners, Ghezo enlisted both men and women as troops. Even eight-year-old girls were among the free Dahomean women who were enlisted as female fighters. The goal of Mino membership was to hone any aggressive personality traits for use in combat. They were mostly virgins. The Mino played a significant part in the Grand Council’s discussion on the kingdom’s policy. The majority of Mino from the 1840s to the 1870s (when the opposing party dissolved) favored peace. In contrast to the Egba of Abeokuta who advocated for raiding smaller, weaker tribes. They disagreed with their male military colleagues on this since they favored an all-out attack on Abeokuta.


  • In order for them to concentrate on their military responsibilities, they were not permitted to get married or have kids.
  • They were renowned for their ornate hairdos, which were frequently adorned with beads and feathers.
  • They were fierce and willing to die.
  • The Amazons were a symbol of power and prestige in the Kingdom of Dahomey.

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