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Dahomey Amazons, 19th Century illustration

Dahomey Amazons, 19th Century illustration

C042/0114

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Credit

COLLECTION ABECASIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY COLLECTION ABECASIS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Dahomey Amazons. Dahomey Amazon archers, with one displaying two severed human heads. The Dahomey Amazons were an all-female military regiment of the Kingdom of Dahomey. This kingdom, which was in what is now Benin, was founded in the 17th century. It later became part of French West Africa from 1894. The culture of Dahomey was based on a cult of frequent and extensive sacrifices, involving fetishes (talismans with supernatural powers) and ritual slaughter of both animals and humans. Remnants of this practice include voodoo, derived from the Vodou religion of Dahomey.

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