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Female Bodyguards in Africa – Historical Reference

I just thought you would like to read something about other women in the bodyguard industry.  This is just another example of  how much female bodyguards have been used over the years and that their is a rich history behind not only the bodyguard profession but the female bodyguards who have been providing security for hundereds of years.

-Denida Zinxhiria, CPSS

Source: Wikipedia

King Houegbadja (who ruled from 1645 to 1685), the third King of Dahomey, is said to have originally started the group which would become the Amazons as a corps of elephant hunters called the gbeto.[1] During the 18th century, the king had some of his wives trained as royal bodyguards.

Houegbadja’s son King Agadja (ruling from 1708 to 1732) developed the female bodyguard into a militia and successfully used them in Dahomey’s defeat of the neighbouring kingdom of Savi in 1727. European merchants recorded their presence, as well as similar female warriors amongst the Ashanti. For the next hundred years or so, they gained reputation as fearless warriors. Though they fought rarely, they usually acquitted themselves well in battle.

The group of female warriors was referred to as Mino, meaning “Our Mothers” in the Fon language by the male army of Dahomey.[2] From the time of King Ghezo (ruling from 1818 to 1858), Dahomey became increasingly militaristic. Ghezo placed great importance on the army and increased its budget and formalized its structures. The Mino were rigorously trained, given uniforms, and equipped with Danish guns (obtained via the slave trade). By this time the Mino consisted of between 4000 and 6000 women, about a third of the entire Dahomey army.

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