List of women warriors in folklore  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
female warrior


Women warriors engaged in combat





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Anime and manga


Legend and mythology

  • Blenda is the heroine of a legend from Småland, who leads the women of Värend in an attack on a pillaging Danish army and annihilates it.
  • According the legendary history of Britain, Queen Cordelia (on whom the character in Shakespeare's King Lear is based), battles her nephews for control of her kingdom, personally fighting in battle.
  • Deborah is a figure in the Old Testament (Book of Judges). She correctly predicted that the enemy general, Sisera, who faced Israel at this time, would be slain by a woman (the woman who killed him and also received credit for the army's victory was named Jael). Jael assassinates Sisera, a retreating general who was the enemy of the Israelites, according to Judges 5:23-27.
  • According the legendary history of Britain, Queen Gwendolen fights her husband Locrinus in battle for the throne of Britain. She defeats him and becomes queen.<ref>Geoffrey of Monmouth, p.77</ref>
  • Jeanne Hachette (1456 - ?) was a French heroine known as Jeanne Fourquet and nicknamed Jeanne Hachette ('Jean the Hatchet').
  • Sekhmet, in Egyptian mythology, (also spelled Sachmet, Sakhet, Sekmet, and Sakhmet; and given the Greek name, Sacmis), was originally the warrior goddess of Upper Egypt. She is depicted as a lioness, the fiercest hunter known to the Egyptians.
  • Shieldmaidens in Scandinavia were women who did not yet have the responsibility for raising a family could take up arms and live like warriors. Many of them figure in Norse mythology. One of the most famous shieldmaidens was Hervor and she figures in the cycle of the magic sword Tyrfing. The Danish chronicler Saxo Grammaticus relates that when the Swedish king Sigurd Ring and the Danish king Harald Wartooth met at the Battle of Bråvalla, 300 shieldmaidens fought on the Danish side led by Visna. Saxo relates that the shieldmaidens fought with small shields and long swords.
  • Similarly, the Valkyries of Norse mythology are minor female deities, who serve Odin. The name means choosers of the slain or "Chanters of the slain" . The valkyries' purpose was to choose the most heroic of those who had died in battle and to carry them off to Valhalla where they became einherjar. This was necessary because Odin needed warriors to fight at his side at the preordained battle at the end of the world, Ragnarök.
  • A warrior queen named Vishpala, (in The Rigveda) who lost a leg in battle and had an iron prosthesis made, and returned to warfare.
  • The story of Šárka and Vlasta is a myth dealing with events in the "Maidens' War" in seventh-century Bohemia. It first appeared in the twelfth-century Chronica Boëmorum of Cosmas of Prague, and later in the fourteenth-century Dalimil's Chronicle.

Popular culture and science fiction

By author/director/actor & genre

Blaxploitation (also see Pam Grier below)

Octavia Butler: Lilith Iyapo in Lilith's Brood

James Cameron

William Gibson: Molly Millions in Johnny Mnemonic (short story) and Neuromancer

Pam Grier

Witi Ihimaera: Paikea Apirana ("Pai") the 1987 novel, The Whale Rider. She was portrayed by Keisha Castle-Hughes in the 2002 film.

Ridley Scott

Quentin Tarantino: Beatrix Kiddo, O-Ren Ishii, Vernita Green, Elle Driver in the 2003-4 film, Kill Bill

Wachowski brothers: Trinity in The Matrix

Michelle Yeoh

By character name

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "List of women warriors in folklore" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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