Movie review: The Women King-The history of the Dahomey


While Slavery is a difficult topic in America, The Women King puts slavery in a different view. It does not show African-Americans bowing down to Europeans, but them fighting back not just for their own countries but for all Africans band together. But what is Dahomy doing? How did they impact the world?

The Women King is a historical film that takes place in the 17th-19th centuries, in the west African kingdom of Dahomey where there is the Agojie, the all-female warrior unit that protects the kingdom. This film is action-packed and has loads of drama, and shows a lot of how slavery in Africa was. Also, the struggles that Africans faced with European colonization. 

The Women King was a great success getting a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes from critics and the audience score was 99%. It was also named the best and most profitable African-American film of 2022 by the African-American Film Critics Association, and the Sony film has now generated almost $50 million.

This movie is a must-watch not just for the thrill but for the historical context as well. The Woman King shows slavery in a different light. Instead of it showing it as African-American as weak and having no defense against the Europeans. It shows how the slave trade was in the point of view of powerful African Countries, This movie allows the viewer to see what lives were like in Africa in the 17-19th century and some of their traditions

Who were The Dahomey in the 17-19th century?

The Dahomey were a powerful tribe that has a lot of culture and history and a powerful religion as well. 

Based on the Women King which took place in around the 17-19th century, Dahomey was a powerful African Country that was feared and respected by other African Countries and the Europeans as well. They also had one of the strongest military groups in Africa, the Agojie.

The Agojie are a group of ruthless, smart, and strong women who were the king’s personal guards trained for combat with weapons like spears, muskets, swords, and knives and even sharpened their nails to be deadly weapons.

According to an article on, written by: Veronica Mwanza. The Agojie had some benefits of being the king’s guards where they were respected by everyone, being able to sleep in the palace walls and drink and smoke when men could not. But there were some drawbacks according to an article on, written by: Javier ocaǹa. The Agojie were not allowed to marry, have children or take part in any sexual activities. 

The Concept of there being a woman king and a man comes from the Dahomey Monotheistic religion Vodoun. It is a religion that started off with one creator Nana Buluku who had offspring a being that was a man and woman, moon and sun Mawu, and Lisa. It is said in the religion that one could not live without the other and they were equal.  

The Dahomeys’ life and the way they lived were influenced by religion and pure combat. They had a strong military that was all women. And as you know the movie is called the Women King meaning there was not only a king that was a male but also a king that was a female who ruled together as equals like Lisa and Mawu from their religion Vodoun.  

What was their role in the slave trade in Africa at the time? 

They were a very strong nation that first was built off raiding nearby kingdoms but when the Europeans came most of their profit was built off the slave trade according to an article on written by: Ana Lucia Araujo, The Dahomey not only sold the captives from the camps they liberated to be slaves but actually sold some of the Agojie soldiers as well.

 According to Dave Roos’ article, from The Dahomey got most of their profit from selling Africans for the slave trade, this was the only way they could get wealth and weapons to defend themselves from the Oyo tribes. Until they found to profit from oil 

Oil was the merchandise that got them out of the slave trade and allowed them to fight the Europeans and the Oyo tribes back. According to an article on by Dave Ross. After the slave trade ended in the 19th century, the Dahomeys’ Agojie played a role to liberate West Africa from France’s colonization and they were real heroes. 

So overall, The Women King is a beautiful movie that has a lot of action and story to it but it also has a lot of history that was added to it that many liked. It shows the roles that The Dahomey had in the slave trade and how they were able to get out of that and fight against the European colonist and the Oyo tribes. It shows Africans are strong and powerful and will not be pushed around but will fight. This movie is the movie to watch anytime, anywhere!