Nana Afia Dokuaa 1817-1835 Ghana

Nana Dokuaa (1855) was the great grand niece of Ofori Panin. Her mother, Akotowaa, was the daughter of Korama born of a union between Adu Daako Asamankesehene (and nephew of Akwamuhene Ansa Sasraku), and Oforiwa, niece of Ofori Panin. Dokuaa ascended the Ofori stool in 1817 in lieu of a male heir to her uncle, Kofi Asante (1811-1816).

She maintained the tradition of resistance to Asante overlordship and took Akyem Abuakwa into an anti-Asante alliance of coastal chiefs and the British Administration on the coast. She personally fought at the head of the Akyem Abuakwa contingent at the battle of Katamanso (August 1826) in which rockets were used for the first time.

The royal horns at Kyebi palace commemorate her rare valour in a terse statement: Dokuaa obaabasia a oko oprem ano (Dokuaa, the valiant woman who fights amidst rockets).It was the allied victory at Datamanso and the ensuing Treaty of 1831 that liberated Akyem Abuakwa and the Southern states from Asante claims to suzerainty over them.

She was a woman who occupied the Paramount stool as Okyenhene, as well as the Queen Mother. She was a woman like her counterpart, Nana Yaa Asantewaa of the same Asona clan of Ejisu, Ashanti. Both were warlike and heroines. Nana Dokua fought the Ashantis 99 times, warding them off anytime they attacked the Akyems. Her outstanding and renowned feats are still remembered in songs in her praise.

Nana Dokua was not only a warrior, but also a first class administrator. She set up Akyem Abuakwa towns and villages into the present divisions for the purposes of war and administration, as well as preventing break-ups or revolts in her kingdom. She married Barima Twum Ampofo of the Oyoko clan of Barekeseso in Ashanti, whom she made the Asiakwahene and the Nifahene of Akyem Abuakwa; the only "foreigner" holding the title of a Divisional Wing Chief in Akyem Abuakwa. The rest of the five Divisional Wing Chiefs are:Kukurantumihene (Adonten), Begorohene (Benkum), Wankyihene (Oseawuo), and Kwabehene, (Gyase), who are all Asonas.

There are also the Akyeasehene (Tarkwa) of the Oyoko clan; and Otwereasehene (Odau) of the Aduana clan; both of whom rank as equals to the five Divisional Wing Chiefs. She also organized the surrounding villages of Apapam, Apedwa, Tetteh (Asikam), Adadientam, Ahwenease, Affiasa, Pano, and Wirenkyiren-Amanfrom into "Amantomiensa" (soldiers and guardians of the Paramount Stool). This group became members of the Kyebi Executive Council, including Ankobea, Pesemaka and Kyidom, with the Okyenhene as the head. This body always acted in the place or in the absence of the Okyeman Council in all matters affecting Akyem Abuakwa.

Nana Dokua had two male twins, who successively became kings of Akyem Abuakwa after her death. The birth of the royal male twins by Nana Dokua and Barima Twum Ampofo led to the institution and the recognition by the Akyem Abuakwa State of what is termed "ABAM" (The Twins Day), which is celebrated each year on the first Friday after the celebration of the "Odwira" festival by the Paramount stool at Kyebi. The "Abam" festival is performed at all times by the Nifahene of Akyem Abuakwa, at the Okyeman Queenmother's residence at Kyebi, as the "father" who brought forth the royal twins. This festival is always attended by all the twins in Akyem Abuakwa and by the occupant of the Paramount stool, the Okyenhene.

Dokuaa's record of unflinching defiance of Asante power turned Abuakwa into a haven for political dissidents escaping the fury of Asante retribution. In 1818 and in 1824 the Bosome and Kotoku, respectively, sought refuge in Akyem territory.


Maria (? - 1716) Curacaoan slave and leader of slave rebellion Curaçao

Maria (died 9 November 1716) was a Curaçaoan slave and leader of a slave rebellion on Curaçao in the Dutch West Indies in 1716.

Maria was a cook at the plantation St. Maria, owned by the Dutch West India Company, where she prepared the newly captured Africans to be sold into slavery. On 15 September 1716, the slaves of the plantation rebelled and killed some of the white staff, including women and children. The rebellion was soon subdued by the military from Willemstad. Her lover, the slave Tromp, stated under torture that Maria had planned the rebellion as she wanted revenge on the overseer Muller, who was responsible for the death of her spouse.

Maria was sentenced to death and executed by burning on 9 November 1716.


More information (in Dutch): 

Picture: is not Maria, but from Tula slave Monument (by Nel Simon)

Queen of Pemba (East Africa ?-1679)

Ruler of Pemba (?-1679)

Pemba is an island off the coast of East Africa near the part of Tanga, Tanzania. Durin the 17th century queens ruled on several of the islands in the area. In c. 1679 a queen was ruling, but antagonistic faction from a distant branch drove her into exile. In 1687 she went tot he Portoguese colony of Goa, seeking refuge. There she ended all chance of regaining her throne by becoming Christian. Nevertheless, the queen continued to speak fort he people on Pemba.

In an act of gratitude fort he refuge she received, she willed her kingdom tot he Portuguese upon her death, but they were never able to claim this inheritance. In 1694, with conditions on Pemba still in a state of upheaval, the Portuguese discontinued its attempts to subject its populace. The queen died about 1694.

Women Rulers Throughout the Ages: An Illustrated Guide (by Guida Myrl Jackson-Laufer)