It's been said that The Future Is Female and in the Quilt Africa Tribe we are celebrating the WOMAN in our first group Challenge of 2022 by individually creating the African Queen quilt.
Since the first time I saw it, I loved the African Queen Block.
With a series of rectangles and squares the pattern designer, Anne Batiste, captures grace, strength and regal beauty.
Over the duration of the Challenge, I will be sharing stories of African Queens who impacted their kingdom and their people.
Quilt & Photo Credit: Billie Ann Farley.
Queen Amina Of Zazzau (Zaria)
From an early age, Queen Amina was the Magajiya (heir apparent) of the Kingdom of Zazzau. She grew up under her grandfather's tutelage learning political and military affairs.
Her first mention in historical texts appeared as early as 1573, written chronicles about her are few but oral tradition is rife with her exploits.
It is said that one of her suitors, Sarkin Kano (Emir of Kano) offered fifty male and female slaves as well as fifty bags of white and blue cloths, (likely indigo fabrics produced in the Kano dye pits).
At the death of her parents in 1566, her brother ascended the throne and she became a leading warrior in his calvary and led men into war.
Photo credit and resource: Wikipedia
When her brother died, Amina became Queen of Zazzau, the largest city state of the Hausa Bakwai, a 7 city empire in the subsaharan Africa.
3 months after she ascended the throne in 1576, she began a year war campaign that would last 34 years.
It is said that her army consisted of 20,000 foot soldiers and 1,00 calvary. With them she extended the boundaries of her kingdom more than any ruler before or after her reign.
She refused to marry so she could hold onto her rule. She subdued neighbouring kingdoms all ruled by men who brought her tribute throughout her reign.
Unfortunately when she died in 1610, her prowess and dominance led to the stifling of laws that dealt favourably with women and systematic deprivation female authority and autonomy.
However, she left many legacies.
She opened multiple trade routes all over sub-saharan Africa and made Zazzau (Zaria) a centre of trade and increased it's territory.
She introduced the cultivation of cash and other crops e.g. Kolanut, from conquered lands in her kingdom.
She built a series of fortifications known as 'ganuwar Amina' (Amina's walls).
She has been featured and celebrated in national and international books, movies and games as a renowned female general.
Read about all the African Queens we spotlighted in this series: Queen Amina, Queen Nandi and Queen Asantewa and Queen Ririkumutima
Our African Queen challenge is FREE and starts March 8.
Click here to join us: https://www.quiltafricafabrics.com/pages/african-queen-free-challenge