The most formidable women in history
• The most formidable women in the history of
Dahomey Amazons - a unique phenomenon in the history of the world, because it is the only documented female military unit. This group of women, "terminators", lives in sub-Saharan Africa and terrify European colonizers, foreigners called Dahomey Amazons. And they call themselves N'Nonmiton, which means "our mother."
Dahomey Amazons were considered the elite troops of the Kingdom of Dahomey (present-day Republic of Benin). N'Nonmiton defended his king during the bloodiest battles were untouchable. And their special "chip" was considered beheading victims.
Amazon are not at all mythical characters. Last survivor Dahomey Amazons died as recently as 1979, at the age of 100 years. It was a woman named Navi, the researchers found that living in a remote village. And (there were 25 000 people in the whole army, t. E. Amazons were about a third of the entire army of Dahomey) in the XIX century in the Amazon housing were 6,000 female soldiers.
Their history dates back to the XVII century. Scientists theorize that the original body of the Amazons has been formed to hunt elephants. But the women were able to impress the king of Dahomey so their skills, that the king wanted to see them with his bodyguard. Another theory suggests that because women were the only people who were allowed to stay in the palace of the king after dark, it is not surprising that women have become bodyguards of the king.
were selected in N'Nonmiton the strongest, the healthiest and the most courageous women. They then went through a rigorous training process, during which turns into a real fighting machine for killing, which feared across Africa for more than two centuries.
Amazon were armed Dutch muskets and machetes. By the beginning of the XIX century, their body has become a full-fledged military unit, completely devoted to his king. Girls N'Nonmiton recruited (and gave them weapons) starting at just eight years old. Some women in the society voluntarily become soldiers, and others in the bodyguard gave husbands, who complained about unruly wives, which they could not control.
From the outset, the Amazons were taught to be strong, fast, ruthless and able to withstand a lot of pain. Exercise, which resembled some kind of gym included jumping over the walls covered with thorny branches of acacia. Also included in the preparation of the expedition in the jungle with no equipment, one with a machete, which lasted for 10 days. Not surprisingly, the Dahomey Amazons battle fought to the death of someone else ... or her.
N'Nonmiton Women were not allowed to marry or have children while serving as a soldier. Moreover, it was believed that they consist of relations with the king, but even the king did not dare to violate their vow of chastity. And if the Amazon is to any other man, and not the king, it meant certain death for him.
In the spring of 1863 the British explorer Richard Burton arrived in West Africa to establish a British mission in the coastal Dahomey, as well as to try to make peace with Dahomeyans.
Dahomeyans were belligerent nation that is actively used slaves - they basically transformed captured enemies. But most of all struck by the elite Burton Dahomey warriors: "These women were so well-developed skeleton and muscles, that only by the presence of chest could determine the sex."
The main weapon was the Dutch guns and machetes Dahomey Amazons used to decapitate and dismember their victims. Among Dahomeyans then it was decided to return home with their heads and genitals of his opponents.
In spite of the brutal training, for many women, it was a chance to escape a boring life to which they were doomed in Dahomey society. Upon admission to the N'Nonmiton women have been able to climb the social ladder of the local community, to take command positions and gain influence. They could even become rich, but this rarely happens.
Alpern Stanley, author of the only full-length treatise in English devoted to the study of the Amazons, wrote: "When Amazon came out of the palace, in front of them was necessarily a slave to the bell. Bell spoke to every man that should turn from his way, to retire to some distance and look the other way. "
Even after the French with the support of the Foreign Legion in the 1890s conquered Dahomey, Amazons fear reign lasted. French soldiers who remained in Dahomey women at night, often found dead in the morning with his throat cut. Underestimating opponents of women often leads to an increase in the number of casualties among the French invaders.
By the end of Second Franco-Dahomean War the French began to win only after the support of the Foreign Legion. The recent strength of the king capitulated, most of the Amazons were killed in 23 battles during the Second World War. Legionnaires later wrote about the "incredible courage and boldness" of the Amazons. They also stated that in this place live the worst woman on earth.