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Amazons 5#: Some Truths? Don’t Count On It… May 2, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Amazons 5#: Some Truths? Don't Count On It...

In 1542 Francisco de Orellana crossed from Chile (under Pizarro) and then passed down the Amazon to the sea with fifty men. It was an extraordinarily dangerous and uncomfortable journey and it says something for the courage and ruthlessness of the Spaniards that most were still alive when the Amazon vomited them into the Atlantic […]

Amazons #4: The Amazons Fight the Spaniards April 28, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Amazons #4: The Amazons Fight the Spaniards

It will be remembered that the year is 1542 and that a small Spanish party is making its way down the Amazon under the command of Francisco de Orellana. There follows the fourth and the most dramatic of the Amazon episodes in the work of Gaspar de Villar (for 1, 2 and 3 follow the […]

Amazons 3#: Owned by the Amazons April 25, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Amazons 3#: Owned by the Amazons

In 1542, the party led by Francisco de Orellana, travelled down the Amazon hearing rumours of a mysterious female nation of warriors: these rumours were recounted early on in two villages, and we have already covered these episodes in the previous days (1, 2). However, by June of that year the Spaniards believed that they […]

Amazons 2#: ‘They’ll Kill You’ April 22, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Amazons 2#: 'They'll Kill You'

The women warriors of the Amazon basin appear for the first time in a European account in 1542 when Gaspar de Carvajal, a friar on the expedition of Francisco de Orellana was passing down the river that would soon be named for them. Beach has already described an earlier Indian description of these women from […]

Amazons 1#: First Contact April 19, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Amazons 1#: First Contact

In 1542, a small party led by Francisco de Orellana, a thuggish conquistador (was there any other sort?) was making its way down a huge South American river towards the sea. In the depths of this dangerous region, where no white man had ever gone before, the Spaniards began to hear strange stories of… Well, […]

The Hare that Killed a Hundred Thousand July 25, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Ancient
The Hare that Killed a Hundred Thousand

Beachcombing was much struck by some of the comments concerning his Amazon article about the terrifying warrior women of Benin. Several of the examples given by readers were not though of warrior women per se: but of women war-leaders, which is a fascinating phenomenon and one which is certainly more common. Think Joan of Arc, […]

Women Warriors of Benin July 23, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Women Warriors of Benin

Having tested the limits of masculinity yesterday Beach feels obliged to pay tribute, today, to the fairer sex. He will pass through time to the late nineteenth century and through space to Dahomey (today part of Benin) in Africa where several thousand women formed an important part of the royal army there. Now, of course, […]