Empowering Narratives: The Resilient Kandakas (Queens) of Kush Kingdom

Tai Salih (she/her)
ZORA
Published in
16 min readFeb 5, 2024

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Aegis of Isis, Kushite, late 3rd century B.C.E., from Kawa, Sudan (© The Trustees of the British Museum)

Within the historical tapestry of these Kandakas (queens), we find a journey that transcends time, shedding light on the multifaceted dimensions of their existence. This narrative excavation not only magnifies the remarkable aspects of their lives but also accentuates the subtle nuances that often escape casual observation. By meticulously examining the challenges faced by women in our present-day context through the prism of our ancestors’ stories, we aspire to cultivate a profound insight into the shared struggles and triumphs. Being a Sudaniya and a womanist has profoundly intertwined my identity with the rich narratives of African warrior queens, particularly the Kushite Kandakas (queens) of my homeland. Unveiling their stories, leveraging a nuanced perspective has allowed for a comprehensive understanding that I aim to embody.

Serving as a bridge between the past and the present, fostering a dialogue that transcends generations the interplay between historical narratives and contemporary challenges becomes a lens through which we can reimagine activism, womanhood, and the radical legacies that have laid the foundation for our collective journey. This dynamic intersection invites us to reflect on how the indomitable spirit of these queens resonates in the ongoing narratives of empowerment and resilience, shaping the…

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Tai Salih (she/her)
ZORA
Writer for

Yogi E-RYT® 500, YACEP® | Founder @ Red Ma'at Collective | Integrative Counsellor www.redmaathealing.com