Dahomey Mino

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Dahomey Mino around 1890

The Dahomey Mino, often known in English as the Dahomey Amazons, were an all-female military regiment of the African Kingdom of Dahomey that existed from the 17th century until the late 19th century. They are one of the few documented female armies in modern history. They were named Amazons by Western Europeans who encountered them, due to the story of the female warriors of Amazons in Greek mythology.

Feminists often claim that the Dahomey Mino were superior to male warriors but the emergence of an all-female military regiment was the result of Dahomey's male population facing high casualties in the increasingly frequent violence and warfare with neighbouring West African states.

Dahomey became being one of the leading states in the slave trade with the Oyo Empire, which used slaves for commodity exchange in West Africa until the British Empire brought an end to the slave trade in the region. The lack of men likely led the kings of Dahomey to recruit women into the army.[1]

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