Amazon Warriors Benin and RFI Sound Kitchen

Amazon Warriors BeninThank you Susan Owensby of RFI for forced me to explore more on Amazon Warriors Benin. September 01, 2018, the Sound Kitchen of Radio France International wants to know about them. As a regular listener (not a regular participants) this question forced me to read more on those all-female military regiment.

Dohomey Amazon Warriors Benin

The Dahomey Amazons or Nonmiton, which means “our mothers,” were a Fon all-female military regiment of the Kingdom of Dahomey in the present-day Republic of Benin which lasted until the end of the 19th century. They named by Western observers and historians due to their similarity to the mythical Amazons of ancient Anatolia and the Black Sea. (Wiki)

The beginning

Seh-Dong-Hong-Beh, drawn by Frederick Forbes, 1851 (Wikipedia)

It is noon on a humid Saturday in the fall of 1861, and a missionary by the name of Francesco Borghero has been summoned to a parade ground in Abomey, the capital of the small West African state of Dahomey. He seated on one side of a huge, open square right in the center of the town–Dahomey. It is renowned as a “Black Sparta,” a fiercely militaristic society bent on conquest, whose soldiers strike fear into their enemies all along what is still known as the Slave Coast. The maneuvers begin in the face of a looming downpour, but King Glele is eager to show off the finest unit in his army to his European guest.

As Father Borghero fans himself, 3,000 heavily armed soldiers march into the square and begin a mock assault on a series of defenses designed to represent an enemy capital. The Dahomean troops are a fearsome sight, barefoot and bristling with clubs and knives. A few, known as Reapers, are armed with gleaming three-foot-long straight razors, each wielded two-handed and capable, the priest is told, of slicing a man clean in two.  (September 13, 2011 Mike Dash an author of Smithsonian dot com, write the story of the birth of those Amazon Warriors.)

Seh-Dong-Hong-Beh, A Leader

Seh-Dong-Hong-Beh was a leader of the Dahomey Amazons. In 1851. Her name means, “God Speaks true”. She led an all-female army consisting of 6,000 warriors against the Egba fortress of Abeokuta, to obtain slaves from the Egba people for the Dahomey slave trade. (Wiki)

RFI Sound Kitchen 01 September 2018 Quiz

The Sound Kitchen want to know about  the kingdom in Benin founded in the 17th century. Specially where the Amazons the women warriors lived and fought. Visit RFI Sound Kitchen to know the details question. You may find the question clip from RFI-SSBd web.

You have until 1 October to enter this week’s quiz; the winners will be announced on the 6 October program. When you enter, be sure you send your postal address in with your answer, and if you have one, your RFI Listeners Club membership number.

Send your answer to

Susan Owensby
RFI – The Sound Kitchen
80, rue Camille Desmoulins
92130 Issy-les-Moulineaux

Email : RFI Sound Kitchen or
SMS +33 6 31 12 96 82

If you missed other Sound Kitchen Quiz, Just click RFI Quiz.

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