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Powerful, one-eyed and body-positive Queens of Africa

Powerful Queen Shanakdakhete, one-eyed Queen Amanitore, and body-positive Queen Amanishakheto are three well-known women rulers of Africa's Kush and the Meroë Empires. 

Plus-Sized Queen Amanishakheto ruled near the time of Christ's birth.
African Queen

The Kingdom of Kush was an ancient kingdom in Nubia, now named Sudan, and just south of Egypt. Sudan has more than 350 pyramids, double the number found in Egypt, and many are dedicated to female rulers. Meroe thrived as the capital of Kush around 750 BCE to 350 CE and became renowned as a city of tremendous wealth.

Located on the Nile in the region of modern-day Sudan, Meroe grew rich from trade and its ironworks and abundant grain supply ensured a steady production of goods others wanted and needed; but it was the monarchy, periodically controlled by women that established and maintained the trade that encouraged such affluence. The title Kentake or Kandake in the Meroitic language and means Queen Regent or Queen Mother or Royal Woman, this actually refers to an ancient African queen or group of ancient African queens.

Three women rulers of Africa, Queens of Kush and the Meroë Empire.


Queen Shanakdakhete of the Meroë Empire.

Queen Shanakdakhete of the Meroë Empire

Queen Shanakdakhete pronounced Shan-nan-dac-it, is the earliest known ruling African queen of ancient Nubia who exercised hands on power in the Meroë Empire. 

The Queen has the power to declare war against another country and Queen Shanakdakhete exercised her power without council from the government of the day. 

Her royal rights included the powers to appoint and dismiss council, regulate the military, cultural and agricultural service, declare war, make peace, direct the actions of the military, and negotiate and ratify treaties, alliances, and domestic agreements. 

She ruled from about 170-150 BCE and is buried at the Pyramid at Meroë. The Empire of Meroë succeeded the Kingdom of Kush and extended its peak from the Third Cataract of the Nile to the site of the present city of Khartoum. Queen Shanakdakhete is depicted in a statue now housed at the Cairo Museum.


One-eyed Amanitore Queen of Meroë.

One-eyed Amanitore of Meroë

Pronounced A-mon-a-ren-us, Amanirenas the brave also known as Kandace is famous because of her role leading 30,000 Kushite armies soldiers against the Romans in a war that lasted five years, from 27 BC to 22 BC. 

After an initial victory when the Kushites attacked Roman Egypt thousands of Roman slaves and treasures were captured and brought back to the Meroë Empire. 

She went into one of the Palaces of the Roman King Augustus and beheaded of one of his Bronze Statues, returned home and buried it in her throne room. 

Amanirenas ruled from 40 BC to about 10 BC after the death of her husband Amanirenas was actually a one eyed warrior Queen from Nubia is actually Queen of this Northern African country which is to the south of Kemet and she comes to rule during a time when Kemet has actually already fallen.


Plus-Sized Queen Amanishakheto ruled near the time of Christ's birth.

Body-positive figure Queen Amanishakheto ruled near the time of Christ's birth.

Amanishakheto, pronounced ah-mah-nee-shah-khay-toe, was a powerful and wealthy queen who ruled from 10 BCE to about 1 BCE. She is celebrated for her body-positive attitude. 

In ancient pyramid murals, there is a frequent portrayal of a large and powerful woman who is depicted as body-positive. She is adorned with jewels, wears elaborate fringed and tasseled robes, and carries weapons in one hand. It is clear that she is preparing to lead her army to fight against the enemies of the North and South.

There are several monuments of her and she is mentioned in the Amun Temple of Kawa. She was buried with treasures such as golden armlets, delicate glass ornaments and golden pendants adorned with faces of the Gods, in a pyramid over 100 feet high, her tomb was raided and destroyed by Giuseppe Ferlini. 

Giuseppe Ferlini, born in 1797 in Italy, started his career as a soldier. However, he later became an explorer and a treasure hunter, notorious for his ruthless and controversial actions. One of his most infamous exploits was the robbery and desecration of over 40 pyramids of Meroë, located at At Wad ban Naqa in Sudan. 




Powerful, one-eyed and body-positive Queens of Africa

In the history of Africa's Kush and the Meroë Empires, there were three remarkable women rulers who left their mark. 

Queen Shanakdakhete, who was known for her shrewd diplomacy and military prowess, is widely regarded as one of the most successful monarchs of the Meroitic period. 

Queen Amanitore, also called the "one-eyed queen," was a patron of the arts and architecture, and under her reign, the city of Meroë flourished as a center of trade and culture. 

Lastly, Queen Amanishakheto was a body-positive figure who defied the conventional beauty standards of her time and was known for her exceptional physical strength and leadership skills. 

These three queens were instrumental in shaping the history and culture of ancient Kush and Meroë, and their legacies continue to inspire people to this day.


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