Black women in the World today, have dictated an immeasurable number of fashion, beauty and hair trends that have been archived in the pages of Ebony magazine and recycled on contemporary fashion runways.
Fashion has served as a source of freedom for Black women to creatively express themselves, even during periods when their civil liberties were being denied. Although Black women’s influence on American fashion can be visibly traced today, in the past they were not properly acknowledged for their contributions. Throughout history, the African woman were considered to be the original Amazon woman. I have decided to take this time to praise the mighty African Queens of the Ancient World. Much of Africa’s history has been focused on great male warriors and rulers and their kingdoms. But Africa is also influenced by warrior-queens who built and defended their empires as well as—or even better than—their male counterparts.
MAKEDA, THE QUEEN OF SHEBA
A brave young girl named Makeda was to be sacrificed to Awre, a monstrous serpent king, who was troubling the northern Ethiopian city of Axum in 1000 BCE. Awre devoured thousands of animals every day and demanded a maiden sacrifice from Axum once a year. When her turn to be sacrificed came, Makeda slew the serpent herself and became queen.
Makeda is believed to be the Biblical Queen of Sheba by the people of Ethiopia. Her name means “not thus,” derived from her instructions to her people that “not thus is it good to worship the sun, but it is right to worship God.”
AMINATU, THE WOMAN AS CAPABLE AS A MAN
Muslim Queen Aminatu ruled the Zazzau Kingdom in present-day Nigeria for 34 years. As the army commander, she united the city-states of the Hausa people, and marked and protected her territories by surrounding them with earthen walls.
She brought entrepreneurship, innovation, development, and governance to her kingdom. She cultivated kola nuts, a major cash crop then, and collected tributes of kola nuts and male slaves following the Hausa custom. She was also credited for introducing metal armor including iron helmets and chain mail. Her military encampments called ganuwar Amina or Amina’s Walls still stand today.
So great was Queen Aminatu’s rule that she was described as “a woman as capable as a man.”
THE AMAZONIAN LLINGA
Congo warrior-queen Llinga succeeded her father to the throne in 1640 and refused to submit to the Portuguese. She kept a large following and led an armed resistance for a long time.
She clothed herself in animal skins and carried an axe, a bow and arrows, and a sword. It is said that before going to war, Queen Llinga would offer a man as a sacrifice, and would strike his head off with her sword and publicly drink his blood. She would later force peace on the Portuguese.
Congolese Amazons were common then, with the Monomotapa confederacy having standing armies of women.
YAA ASANTEWA AND THE GOLDEN STOOL
Nana Yaa Asantewa was the queen mother of the Ashanti people in present-day Ghana, and was the guardian of the kingdom’s emblem, the Golden Stool. In 1896, the Ashanti people were rebelling against the British and their plans for the “Gold Coast” colony, and to retaliate, the British exiled their leaders, looted the land, and demanded the Golden Stool.
The male chiefs of the Ashanti were afraid to wage war on the British, and wanted to beg the Governor-General of Ghana to release their king. Yaa Asantewa then proclaimed that she would gather the women to fight for their people instead. Thus the War of the Golden Stool began in 1900 and became the last major war led by an African woman.
Yaa Asantewa was captured and died in exile, and today she is honored as one of the greatest African women. The Yaa Asantewaa Girls’ Senior High School calls her a “great historical revolutionary heroine” who inspires them to fight against “ignorance and the denigration of women.” The Nana Yaa Asantewaa Awards recognized women of African descent who contributed to the socioeconomic and cultural development of Germany, Africa, and the world at large.
Queen Nefertiti is a prominent queen from ancient Egypt. Her name means “a beautiful woman has come.” She left a legacy of strength, beauty, and power.
She was born either in the town of Akhmim or in a country located in modern-day Syria. Historians believe that she married Akhenaten, who ruled Egypt from 1353 to 1336 B.C.
Together, they had six children, including the famous King Tutankhamun. The couple is best known for their exploits in expanding the Egyptian nation. They were responsible for establishing the cult of Aten. The religion placed the sun god Aten as an essential figure of worship. They were at the fore of Egyptian culture, promoting the nation’s artwork and language.
They were a couple that displayed their love for each other in public. They changed Egyptian culture through their public displays of affection. These were unusual for pharaohs during that time.
Nefertiti’s images on the walls of Pharaoh Akhenaten’s tombs portray her as a woman of authority and power. Her depictions show her driving a chariot or smiting an enemy.
To date, her painted sandstone bust has become a global icon of feminine beauty and power.
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"I, Black Pharaoh: Rise to Power" (CLICK THE PICTURE BELOW)
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