Yennenga: Warrior, Princess, Rebel

Yennega was born centuries ago in the Dagomba Kingdom, an area which is now present-day Ghana. Her father, King Nedega, indulged her affinity for horses by allowing her to ride; it was a rare occurrence for a time in which only men were allowed to do so.  This opportunity ultimately led Yennenga to become one of her father's most formidable warriors; her skill and prowess with javelins, spears and bows becoming so proficient that in time, he granted her command of her own battalion. 

 

However, when she reached marriageable age, her father refused to choose a husband, or permit her to marry, such was his fear of losing not only his daughter, but one of his best fighters.  As an expression of her frustration at being denied a husband and children, she planted a field of wheat, and let it rot in the field without sowing it; explaining that she felt the same way.  Unmoved by her appeal, The King had his stubborn, insolent daughter up as a reponse.

Yennenga, however, was not to be denied her agency.  At some point after her capture, with the help of one of the king's horseman, she dressed as a man and escaped, fleeing on the back of her trusted stallion.  During their dash for freedom, however, her companion was killed by attacking Malinke warriors, and so Yennenga continued on alone, riding North, until she rested, exhausted, in the forest.  An elephant hunter, Riale, encountered her and saw through her disguise; they fell in love, and had a child, Ouedraogo, which means "stallion".  Her son would later found the Mossi Kingdom, and in time, Ouedraogo returned to visit his grandfather, King Nadega, who by now was filled with relief, not anger, and welcomed his daughter back with feasts.  His grandson was welcomed into the family, and gifted cavalry and goods by which to set up his own kingdom.

Today, Yennenga is regarded by the Mossi as the mother of their empire; she is honoured in Burkina Faso with statues and the naming of roads, and if you have heard of the Burkinabe football team, "Les Étalons", this means "The Stallions" and is named in honour of her famous steed which carried her to freedom.

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Yennenga

Warrior, Princess, Rebel

Price: 100 $ADA
Policy Locks: TBD after launch.

Minting: 4, only ONE will be available for public sale

Available: SOLD OUT.

 

It was FASO Stakepool who first introduced me to the inspirational story of this fierce and driven woman, and thus two of the four mints are for him, and for his daughter, who I hope will grow up in a world that gives her the opportunity to be whomever she wishes to be.

 

It's tragic to me that Yennenga is not more widely known about, as a fierce and driven woman whose life was shaped by her determination to live it how she wished, and not how others would have it.  Her strength of will ultimately shaped not only her life, but the history of a nation.

In 2022, however, we still live in a time where women fight for their right to live their lives as they see fit, to be educated, to be free to determine their own destinies.  Thus, Yennenga's story matters today as much as it did centuries ago, and it was an honour to help ensure she is remembered on Cardano.

 


​​If buying these via any other source, remember to check policy ID to confirm authenticity!

 

 

 

 

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