As a part of the continuing tribute to the women of the world who has done groundbreaking work in their own field and shown extraordinary courage in the face of danger and desolation, this is our 2nd installment to bring forth names of such ladies to your attention.
Rani Velu Nachiyar (1730-1796)
She is celebrated by the Tamils as Veeramangai (brave women). Velu Nachiyar was married to the king of Sivagangai, Muthuvaduganathaperiya Udaiyathevar. She was the first queen to fight against the British colonial power in India, after her king was killed by the British soldiers & the Nawab of Arcot in the war of Kalaiyar Koil. Nachiyar was trained in weapons usage, martial arts and archery. She was also a scholar and was conversant in languages like French, English and Urdu. She created and led a woman’s army “udaiyaal” in honor of her adopted daughter, Udaiyaal, who died detonating a British arsenal. She is also credited to have been the first person to use a suicide bomber –when her faithful follower Kuyili doused and set herself alight and burnt down the ammunition storehouse. Her birth anniversary is celebrated every year in Tamil Nadu on January 3rd.
Carlota Lucumi (mid 19th century)
Carlota Lucumi AKA La Negra Carlota was enslaved Cuban woman who was of Yoruba origin. She was kidnapped and bought as a slave on the Triumvirato sugar plantation. She harvested sugar cane for the Spanish landlords. In response to the appalling work conditions and brutal treatments, Carlota planned the revolt along with another slave woman named Fermina. Being adept in musical skills, she coded messages to coordinate a series of attacks using their traditional musical instruments –the drums. The uprising began at the Triumvirato and Acane sugar plantations, wherein the landlords were forcibly overthrown. These attacks were led personally by Carlota, who went into battle wielding a machete.
The uprising continued for a year during which the rebels liberated many slaves in the area. However, the rebellion was brought to an end and Carlota and Fermina were both captured and executed, and 1844. However, actions created a legacy which inspired numerous subsequent rebellions against slave owners in the Caribbean.
Franceska Mann- (1917-1943)
Franceska or Franciszka was a Polish dancer who is remembered and celebrated for her heroic action in the Auschwitz concentration camp during the Holocaust in occupied Poland. It was one of the most glorious acts of resistance by a Jewish woman at the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp. A surviving eyewitness (David Wisnau) narrated the incident of the Jewish dancer, who after being stripped naked and about to be gassed pulled a gun from a notoriously brutal guard and shot him dead. The revolt by was broken up when guards who mowed them down with machine guns.
Part 3 coming soon…..
Check out our article Badass Women of The World part 1 here
- December 12, 2017
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