African Heroes - A Look at Dandara

Thanks for taking the time to check out this post. I wanted to do something to promote figures from history of African descent that have made their mark or that I feel their stories are amazing and need more exposure. I will be leaving sources at the end of these posts so you may read up on the individual more in your spare time. Hopefully, this will enlighten those, who like me, are interested in learning more about their heritage and not just about the same stories that have been told over and over again. With that being said please enjoy this look at the following African Hero.

Historically little is known about the Afro-Brazilian hero known as Dandara. What is known about her is that she was a skilled warrior, hunter, and farmer. She was proficient in Capoeira as well as various other weapons and weapon-based fighting styles. She was an integral member of a free slave community known as Palmares. Palmares was a place where runaway slaves could find refuge. According to historical research, the reason why Palmares was protected was that 1. it was hard to get to due to the dense vegetation and 2. most of the slaves were accomplished warriors in their own right. Dandara who was married to Ganga Zumbi, the leader of Palmares, was known for her fierce stance against slavery. It is also believed that she was one of the strategists for Palmares and was known to be a very capable fighter. However, in 1694 she was arrested and rather than return to a life of slavery she committed suicide. It is not known what region of Africa she was born in, I found her story interesting because in doing research for another group that I will be posting later this month I found that the women in certain African regions/tribes were more than just mothers. Some were the best warriors in their region. Some Kings/Chieftains had full bodyguard regiments that were only comprised of women. The sad thing about Dandara's story is that due to the time in which she lived a lot of records were not kept or destroyed as the Portuguese and Dutch would not want stories of there various defeats getting out. Check out the link(s) below to read more about Dandara. If you liked what you have read please feel free to share this post out. I plan on doing posts like these at least twice a month. As always thanks for reading.

Dandara, the wife of Zumbi
Dandara Zumbi Warrior Queen

From the 1984 movie