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Famous Female Warriors...besides Xena

By: Neva Alexander

OK I love Xena and everything but she isn't the best female warrior (princess or otherwise) out there. Sorry I enjoy watching her kick ass as much as the other person but she is only fictional so here are a list of some great female warriors who where kicking butt before Xena even existed as an idea, and would give her a run for her money.

Nanny of the Maroons
Time: 18th Century.
Place: Jamaica.
Weapons of Choice: Machetes, Rifles, "Buns of Steel", Natural civic and military leadership. skills

Nanny of the Maroons is Jamaica's first national hero. She is also the island's only female hero. Her story is one of resistance and leadership of the greatest kind She was a member of the Maroons, who were slaves bought from West Africa to the island by the Spanish. They escaped into the mountains and formed resistance movements first against the Spaniards, and later the English who became the new slave lords of the island, after beating the Spaniards.
To underestimate her because she was a woman probably resulted in quite a few English men getting their throats cut with machetes in a Maroon Ambush. As a leader of the Maroons Nanny struck fear in the British with brilliant guerilla tactics. Seeming to appear out of nowhere for sneak attacks, leaving the British shook, or dead. It was probably safe to say that she-devil (and worse) was a word they often used to describe her. It is also safe to say that though they might have never said it openly (with Nanny being both a slave and a woman), they had respect for her military prowess.

When not beating the British; Nanny lead the Maroons as both spiritual leader and chief, making sure that they did not lose touch with the African Heritage and the freedom they were fighting hard to preserve. Legend had it that she had super natural powers as, she was a Obeah woman (Obeah is a native form of magic in Jamaica akin to Voodoo.) One of these powers was the ability to bounce bullets off her butt! Now that is what you call buns of steel!!. Nanny serves as an inspiration to Jamaican women and should serve as an inspiration to all women everywhere.

Marie O Ciaragan
Time: 16th Century.
Place: Ireland.
Weapons of Choice: "Hagis Maker" a.k.a "A bobbitizer" a.k.a a Sword , Irish Temper, Nice Red Hair.

If Braveheart was around when she was she would have been his crazy Irish drinking buddy and a companion in battle instead of the other Irish person in the movie. Since she knew how to fight with a "Bobbitizer"/sword she definitely instilled fear in any man who even thought about committing d infidelity while in a relationship with her. She was very respected as both a warrior and a general and led many a successful raids and war parties against the English.

Calamity Jane
Time: Late 18th century -Early 20th century
Place: Wild Wild West
Weapons of choice: Rifle's, six-shooters, pioneering spirit.

Calamity Jane was a woman that is as much a part of history as she is a part of folklore and legend. Her full name was Marthy Jane Cannary Burk. Her story is part Little House on the Prairie, part Tombstone. She was born in 1848 in Princeton Missouri and after her mother died the family moved to Nevada. At a very young age Calamity Jane earned a reputation for being not only a excellent marksman, but also possessing good horseback riding ability.

Calamity Jane got her nickname through a incident where she saved the life of a Army captain. At this time she was working for the military as a scout. The Army Captain she was under was engaged in a battle with the Native Americans who lived in the area. He and his troops were engaged in battle with warriors from this tribe and were getting decimated. Calamity Jane (Then know as plain ole Marthy Cannary) rode in on horse back scoped the captain up and rode away with the captain saving him from being annihilated along with the rest of his soldiers. After this incident the Captain christened her Calamity Jane. People forgot her real name and she became more famously known by her nickname. Another famous nickname that Calamity Jane became affiliated with was Wild Bill Hickock.

To this day nobody is quite sure as to the nature of their relationship. Whether they were a one night stand, a long term couple or even married is still debated. What is known is that when Wild Bill Hickock was murdered while playing poker (holding a dead man's hand none the less) she went after the killer with a butcher knife and held him captive until the sheriff came to arrest him. In addition to being a Scout for the US Army Calamity Jane was also a member of the Buffalo Express. She was also a entrepreneur running her own ranch and Hotel at one point. She was also a nurse in Deadwood North Dakota where they had a smallpox outbreak. After her death in 1902 she was buried beside her love Wild Bill Hickock.

Trung Trac and Trung Nhi
Time: 39 -43 AD.
Place: Vietnam.
Weapons of Choice: Swords, Kwan Dao's Nationalism, Military Genius.

Daughters of Vietnamese royalty who led a rebellion against China's Han Dynasty, had personal as well as political reasons for the rebellion. Vietnam had long been under the domination of China. This had began to affect the rights of Vietnamese women who lost many of their former rights under the Chinese system of government. When the Vietnamese began to rebel against these injustices, the Han Dynasty decided to make an example of the Trung sisters. The sister they chose to make an example of was Trung Trac's and she watched as her husband was killed. She was then brutally raped by the same Chinese General who had done the murder. After this incident the fight against the Chinese by the Trung sisters was not only political or for country but personal as well.

Getting together, the sisters organized an army. This army contained many female generals (one of whom was their mother!) and together with about 80,000 fellow Vietnamese they defeated the Chinese making Vietnam an independent country for the first time in 1000 years, gaining a measure of vengeance and justice for the mistreatment of Vietnamese women.

Joan of Arc
Time: 15th Century France.
Place: Uhhh… France!!
Weapons of Choice: Armor, Charisma, Faith in God and Country.

A sixteen year old teenager who inspired a country to give the English a much needed ass-whupping. Inspired by visions of saints Joan of Arc decided to save France which was in a familiar position, getting their butts kicked in a war. After being validated by the French King and the Clergy Joan was given a army and sent off to war. Although to be honest she was probably not the best military strategist Joan gave her troops something better than a victory plan, Hope, Confidence, and Vitality. The English who were laughing at the French for being led by a girl soon found themselves on the receiving end of a couple of ass-whuppings and military victories delivered by Joan of Arc. Unfortunately her story did not end well. She was captured and burned at the stake by the English for heresy and being a witch. However she was later rewarded by the French people by being canonized as their Patron saint.

Wing Mui and Wing Chung
Time: Ancient China.
Place: Southern China.
Weapons of Choice: Butterfly Swords, One inch punches, "sticky hands" , short staffs, Meditation.

As much mother and daughter as student and mentor, Wing Chun and Wing Mui changed the face of a male dominated Martial Arts world. Wing Mui was a Shaolin Priestess who like all other members would compete in tournaments between monasteries. As a result she would have to compete against very strong and very skilled men who had no gripes about hitting her. Now If you have missed the last two or 3 decades of Kung Fu movies then you might not know that the Shaolin priest were some of the most dangerous men that ever lived.

Elite Marines whose toughness and meanness are unquestioned, Navy Seals who can kill a man in a hundred different ways, 300 pound Body Builders who can bend iron bars, and your average football player sized/ basketball player tall bouncer wouldn't stand a chance!. Any of these men would be lucky if they made the fight last 5 seconds before they fell to the floor only to awaken a couple of weeks later from the coma they were beaten into. And the person who would be facing these dangerous man capable of this task, without even breaking a sweat, was a frail woman named Wing Mui.

Faced with this problem she went into the woods to think and meditate. She happened to witness (depending upon the account of the story) a Crane battling either a Fox or an Ape. Seeing this she got inspired and decided to combine the Crane and Snake styles of Kung fu along with her own ideas. And then when it came time to face some of the most dangerous men on the planet in no holds barred combat, she beat them like redheaded stepchildren! Wing Mui wasn't selfish with her ideas or gifts however. She became mentor to a woman who would also change the face of Martial Arts, Wing Chun.

Wing Chun

Wing Chun was a pretty teenager who was admired by all the men of her Province. One particular gentleman was an incredible Kung Fu fighter. From his actions it was obvious he had never having heard of flowers, candy , or any other romantic notion. His idea of a "romantic chase" was harassing and bullying her family into forcing her to marry him. Wing Chun avoided him, until finally having to leave for a year he made her an ultimatum. He said if Wing Chun could beat him when he came back in a year she wouldn't have to marry him .

Wing Chun was also a student of Kung Fu though not as good as he, Her fighting him would be like Sarah Michelle Gellar Vs. Jet Li no question who the winner would be. So seeking a way to take advantage of the time she had to practice for this fight she sought out the priestess Wing Mui who everyone had heard about at this point. Wing Mui accepted Wing Chun as her student but faced a problem in teaching her Kung Fu. Since she only had a year to teach her, she could not teach her everything so instead she taught her a bantam version of her style which while missing a few things still retained the power and grace that Wing Mui had perfected.

After the year ended Wing Chun returned to town to face her rude, overly aggressive, and unwanted, suitor. Needless to say he lost not only the fight but a lot of pride, cause she beat him, very very easily. Today both styles of Martial Arts originated by these women exist today, with Wing Chun being the mother style of Martial Arts legend Bruce Lee. He incorporated Wing Chun when he made his own system Jeet Kune Do.

Harriet Tubman
Time: Early 19th Century
Place: U.S. South and various "stations" on the Underground Railroad
Weapons of choice: Six shooter, desire for Freedom, cunning

"Born rebellious and died free" would sum up Harriet Tubman in a few words. However Harriet Tubman cannot be summed up in a few words. She was born in Maryland on a Plantation and was hired out at the age as 5 as slave labor From a early age she was rebellious and in her early teens suffered a major injury because of this. While attempting to aid a runaway slave Harriet was put in the hospital by a overseer who hit her in the head with a lead weight. She spent months in the hospital and for the rest of her life had to deal with blacking out.

Finally deciding to run away from the awful life of slavery Harriet escaped up north to Philadelphia. During the following years she rescued all her family members from slavery including her elderly parents who she settled in NY. In addition to her parents Harriet also rescued 300 slaves from captivity. During her trips she carried a six-shooter just in case she came across slave trackers or in case one of the escapees got nervous and wanted to go back. She once pulled her pistol on a nervous escapee and said "Be free or die!!."

In addition to being a member of the Underground railroad, Harriet Tubman was also a spy and scout for the Union Army. Being a master of disguise and having knowledge of the South's local terrain she was an incredible value to their war effort. She also participated in battle leading raids on various plantations.

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