Get Your Fight on 2

It occurred to me after posting the last article I did that all of the feisty females were from Europe. That seems a little unfair, so I have scoured the annals to bring you more potted histories of warrior women from around the world. These are ladies who could inspire us all with their heroism, bravery and sheer determination.

Lakshmi Bai, The Rani of Jhansi 19th C. Lakshmi was the Queen of Jhansi, a state in Northern India. She became a figurehead and key player during the Indian Rebellion against the rule of the British East India Company. And a sword and buckler lady to boot, thumbs up!


The Amazons – The Ancient Greeks first encountered these women in Northern Africa (now Libya). There were later amazons of Dahomey in West Africa. These were an elite, all female militia, that served as royal bodyguards and also priestesses.

Fu Hao

Fu Hao – One of many wives of King Wu Ding of the Shang dynasty. She was unusual in that she was also a military general of many campaigns and a high priestess who advised her husband.

Artemisia of Caria I

Artemisia I of Caria – A general under Persian King Xerxes. After the Persians lost the battle of Salamis he commented:  “My men have turned into women, and my women into men.”

Ya Asentewa – Ashanti Queen who led the rebellion against the British in Ghana in 1900, with balls of steel:

“If you the men of Ashanti will not go forward, then we will. We the women will. I shall call upon you my fellow women. We will fight the white men. We will fight until the last of us falls in the battlefield.”

Arachidamia – Spartan Princess 3rd Century BC. When the council of elders suggested sending the Spartan women to Crete during the seige of Lacadaemon, Arachidamea entered the forum with a sword and shield in protest, contesting the idea that the women were expected to survive their own city. She then directed the Spartan women in assisting the battle, digging trenches and running weapons and food to the men.

Hangaku Gozen – Female Samurai, Japan 13th C. Loyal to the Shogun, Lady Hangaku took up a defensive position in a fortress and commanded 3,000 warriors against 10,000 enemy troops during the Kennin uprising. She was said to have been extremely beautiful, and wielded a naginata in battle.

Aijaruc – Tartar Princess 13th C. She refused to marry any man she could defeat in single combat and as a result won 10,000 horses for her father. Marco Polo wrote:

“This damsel was very beautiful, but also so strong and brave that in all her father’s realm there was no man who could outdo her in feats of strength. In all trials she showed greater strength than any man of them.” 

Maria Quitéria – Brazilian soldier and national heroine 19th C. She cross-dressed to serve in the Brazilian war of independence.

Yim Wing Chun – 18th C Chinese Novice Nun. The creator of the martial art from whom we take the name, it was taught to Yim by her mentor Ng Mui, a Shaolin Abbess, who came up with the idea after seeing a crane fighting a snake. Yim developed this art and used to defend herself against a man who was trying to force her into marrying him.

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