With Black Panther releasing on Friday and the Dora Milaje set to make their big screen debut I thought it would be a good idea to share this little piece of African history with you. First, a little comic book background, the Dora Milaje in the Black Panther comics are an all-female group that protects the royal family of Wakanda and are the kings' personal bodyguards. Now you may be asking yourself what does the Dahomain Female Army have to do with fictional characters? Well, while I was doing some research for another project I am working on I came across the kingdom of Dahomey. Dahomey was a kingdom in Western Africa that sits along the Ivory Coast. It is where present-day Benin is located. It's important to note that the regiment itself was only 5000 women strong. Some historians estimate that the Dahomain Army itself numbered between 20000 and 25000. Which made the female unit an elite core. These women were responsible for protecting the king and at times acting as police. It's also important to note that the head of the female unit was also the general of the entire army. Some historians call them the Dahomey Amazons. Personally, I don't like that name but I do see how that name came into being. Their training was rigorous and they understood war and strategies associated with war. All in all, you wouldn't want to run up on them, just ask the French the first time they decided to go to war with the country.
Check out the links below to read more on Dahomey. It really is a fascinating read and I would encourage people to learn more. What do you think of the Dahomey people? Let me know in the comments and as always thanks for reading.
Dahomeys Women Warriors