The Dahomey Amazons or Mino, which means “our mothers,” were a Fon all- female military .. Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey ( 1st ed.). New York, U.S.: New York University Press. ISBN Clodfelter. One of Dahomeys’ women warriors, with a musket, club, dagger—and her .. Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey. History is rife with tales of fighting women. More often than not, these stories prove more legend than history. Dating back to the amazons of ancient Asia Minor.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Amazons of Black Sparta: History is rife with tales of fighting women. More often than not, these stories prove more legend than dahhomey. Dating back to the amazons of ancient Asia Minor, myths of fierce, autonomous women of martial excellence abound.
And yet, the only thoroughly documented amazons in world history are the women warriors of Dahomy, an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western Warriors History is rife with tales of fighting women.
And yet, the only thoroughly documented amazons in world history are the women warriors of Dahomy, an eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Western African kingdom. Once dubbed a “small black Sparta,” residents of Dahomy shared with the Spartans an intense militarism and sense of collectivism.
Moreover, the women of both kingdoms prided themselves on bodies hardened from childhood by rigorous physical exercise. But Spartan women kept in shape to breed male warriors, Dahomean amazons to kill them.
Originally a praetorian guard, the Dahomeans developed into a force 6, strong and were granted semi-sacred status. They lusted for battle, fighting with fury and valor until the kingdom’s final defeat by France in Alpern has chronicled this remarkable history in depth for the first time.
The product of meticulous archival research, Amazons of Black Sparta is defined by Alpern’s gift for narrative and will stand as the most comprehensive and accessible account of the woman warriors of Rahomey. Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey – Stanley Bernard Alpern – Google Books
To ask other readers questions about Amazons of Black Spartaplease sign up. Be the first kf ask a question about Amazons of Black Sparta. Lists with This Book. Teh ordered this book to deepen my research on the Amazons of the ancient African kingdom known as Dahomey. My earlier research barely blavk the surface of what this book reveals, and offers a look inside the lives of these women through the eyes of men who had traveled through Dahomey as well as some oral traditions passed down through generations.
These women were fierce: While some of the terms used may feel I ordered this book to deepen my research on the Amazons of the ancient African kingdom known as Dahomey. While some of the terms used may feel offensive to warriirs modern day woman, the reader must keep in mind that the sources quoted are white men that lived in the 18thth centuries. Their views are prejudiced as well as sexist, but one must make allowances for the time in which these men existed.
Most of them, while prejudiced, had to admit even grudgingly that these women were a force to be reckoned with. Some even called them ‘beautiful’ and awe-inspiring. I definitely gleaned more than enough from this book for my research and have become inspired by the strength of these women and the mark they made on history. This was one slarta the sources used for my thesis These women were fierce in a way Beyonce could not comprehend.
View all 3 comments. Feb 12, Alexandra rated it really liked it Shelves: My mother gave me this wommen for ChristmasI think after hearing about it on the radio? I’ve had great intentions of reading it since then, of course, but until now they have gone the way of many other good intentions.
The other day, though – at least partly hte by Tansy’s post about ‘Historically Authentic Sexism in Fantasy’ which also appeared over at Tor.
I don’t even – I decided it was tim My mother gave me this book for ChristmasI think after hearing about it on the radio? I don’t even – I decided it was time to read it. There’s also been a bunch of great stuff written about the historical position of powerful women, as queens and warriors etc recently, calling out people who say women have had basically no part in the Great Historical Narrative That Is Mankind. This is a book of history.
It appears to be thoroughly researched and meticulously end-noted. Alpern constantly refers to his sources, comparing the differences in their perspectives and attempting to explain them based on time, possible prejudice, and other aspects. This is particularly relevant and important because the sources come from a span of two centuries or so, sometimes using second-hand sources, and occasionally coming long after the actual events. The book is about genuinely documented, real-life warrior women, who were pretty much automatically called Amazons by European observers, in the kingdom of Dahomey, on Africa’s western coast.
And these are not from some far-off misty time; no, they date from the late s at the very latest, and last saw action against the dastardly French when those colonisers decided to fight against and take Dahomey They were experts at the use of muskets and spears and – my favourite – the giant razor: It was wielded with both hands and was particularly good for decapitations. It’s not quite the book I was expecting.
Amazons of Black Sparta: Women Warriors of Dahomey
I think I was anticipating that was more narrative-driven, but only the last quarter or so fits that womeen. The first three quarters read more like a catalogue: There are a lot of fascinating parts to this book – like the fact that the women as warriors may have originated in them being elephant hunters, and the fact that Dahomey had a lot of symmetry going on with women having parallel offices etc to the male hierarchy.
One spxrta, somewhat incidental bit – and this is for the fabric fetishists – is that the warrior women may have been involved in creating a gigantic patchwork, along with other palace women.
blxck It was composed of samples of every type of fabric imported into the kingdom or made locally. At one stage it was apparently up to yards by 10 feet, and exactly it was intended for is unclear. The other mighty fact in the warrilrs is that pretty much everyone acknowledges that the women were mighty warriors, as good or better than their male counterparts, and generally even fiercer in actual battle: A very interesting read, and a fascinating period of history in general and in specific.
Apr 27, Larissa rated it really liked wwrriors. I read this several months ago but my lasting impression is that this was one fierce society. In one scene, the Dahomean women warriors scale walls covered in thorny vines and get all bloody just for practice. They fought with next to no protection and tended to get slaughtered. The newly initiated were forced to earn their place by killing a captive or be teh themselves.
There is no inner circle dialogue to understand what these women were thinking. The descriptions of events come from Weste I read this several months ago but my lasting impression is that this was one fierce society. The descriptions of events come from Western male visitors. A lot of what I read is violent and revolting to anyone who is sensitive.
This is not the kind of African history I learned in school. The other takeaway from this story is a sense of how much the neighbors they were warring with must have dreaded them. If you have a real interest in Western African history and culture, there is a lot to be gleamed from this book, if you can stomach the prejudiced historical commentaries and dajomey gore.
Jun 30, Divine-Asia rated it it was ok. I was expecting a more insightful anthropological research into the lives of these women but I had warriorrs hard time getting past the obvious sexist and racist remarks of the European men he kept quoting in his book about these women. Also his constant use of -ress was annoying like huntress or warrioress or woen or archeress. It was repetitive when he would write Or huntresses because Amazons were warrior women and huntress is the feminine version of hunter, so it came off as women women I was expecting a more insightful anthropological research into the lives of these women but I had a hard time getting past the obvious sexist and racist remarks of the European men he kept quoting in his book about these women.
Amazons of Black Sparta : The Women Warriors of Dahomey
It was repetitive when he would write Amazon huntresses because Amazons were warrior women and huntress is the feminine version of hunter, so it came off as women women hunters. All in all, he had some really useful information derived from amazond little bit of history he was able to research but he relied too heavily and quoted too many times racist and sexist sources. It was a huge disappointment. Mar 09, Pancha rated it liked it Shelves: The first chapter included a brief discussion of the term “amazon,” as well as a list of historical women warriors and cultures where women fought alongside men.
Amazons of Black Sparta: The Women Warriors of Dahomey – Stanley B. Alpern – Google Books
This is an interesting contrast to the Hijra book, in that the Dahomey female warriors considered that they had become men through their fighting and bravery, and were also supposed to remain celibate although apparently often didn’t. Very detailed and fascinating. If you’re just interested in the military side, you can skip to the end: It’s amazing to think that some of these women were still alive in the middle of the 20th century.
Apr 29, Irene rated it really liked it Shelves: These ladies were fierce Jan 23, Robert added it. Feb 08, Francisco rated it liked it Shelves: I liked the beginning intro and the end where it all comes together. The middle was a lot of comments by everyone else. Aug 14, Katie Lynn rated it liked it.
I am willing to embrace the nickname I’ve been given, amazon, in all its negative and positive connotations. A fascinating history and well-researched and -written. Freespiritwildheart rated it it was amazing Jun 22, Charlotte rated it liked it Feb 05, Dawn Sam rated it really liked it Nov 07, Krystal rated it liked it Nov 12,