Seh-Dong-Hong-Beh, leader of the Dahomey Amazons, drawn by Frederick Forbes in 1851.

Seh-Dong-Hong-Beh, leader of the en:Dahomey Amazons, drawn by Frederick Forbes in 1851.

Leader of the Dahomey Amazons, she led an army of 6,000 women against the Egba fortress of Abeokuta. Because the Amazons were armed with spears, bows and swords while the Egba had European cannons only about 1,200 survived the extended battle. In 1892 King Behanzin of Dahomey (now Benin) was at war with the French colonists over trading rights. He led his army of 12,000 troops, including 2,000 Amazons into battle. Despite the fact that the Dahomey army was armed only with rifles while the French had machine guns and cannons, the Amazons attacked when the French troops attempted a river crossing, inflicting heavy casualties. They engaged in hand to hand combat with the survivors eventually forcing the French army to retreat, but was later defeated, and the Amazons burned fields, villages and cities rather than let them fall to the French.