19 January 2018

Kandaka: Resurrecting the Sudanese Queens

Kandake (Illustration: theblklst.blogspot.com)

Kandake (Illustration: theblklst.blogspot.com)

The Kingdom of Kush was an ancient Nubian state centred on the confluences of the Blue Nile, White Nile and River Atbara in what is now the Republic of Sudan. Kushite kings ruled as Pharaohs of Egypt for a century, which is a historically insignificant period of time, I am very proud nevertheless, and will tell anyone who listens.

The Kingdom was a prosperous land ruled from the capital, Meroe. They farmed, traded with Greeks and built the Pyramids that are now a UNICEF world heritage site. Additionally, the Kushites revered women. In fact women often ruled on their own and Kushite Queens were called Kandakes. The Kandades were warriors who led their nation to war.

A very famous Kandake was “Candace” of Meroe; she was the queen of Nubia at the time of the conquests of Alexander the Great. According to legend, Alexander encountered her when he invaded Nubia. However, Alexander never attacked Nubia; but keep reading anyway.

The story unveils that when Alexander attempted to conquer her lands in 332 BC, the Kandake arranged her armies strategically to meet him and sat regally on a war elephant as he approached. Talk about showmanship.

Having assessed the strength of her armies, Alexander decided to withdraw from Nubia, heading to Egypt instead. Another story claims that Alexander and Candace had a romantic encounter, there has to be a movie here.

The whole story of Alexander and Candace’s encounter is unfortunately what legends are made of.

The Western name “Candace” is actually a form of the title “Kentake”, try explaining that one in Small town, USA to a bunch of Candy’s.

Because of the ongoing deciphering of ancient Meroitic script, an impressive series of Kushite warrior queens are only starting to make an appearance in history. These women not only controlled Sudan, but parts of Egypt and Ethiopia too.

7 Comments on this post.

Leave a Reply to Dalia Cancel reply

  • amani bengawi
    16 July 2012 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    thanks aust. Dalia, it is clearly shown that you are specialized in this area of history or those who read throughly in it. This kind of information and facts must be at hand for all sudanese, not only within the schools and uneversities , but in media as well , we are a great nation with a great history, but unfotunately we failed to promote our self properly . who knows that Kushite kings rulled Egypt for a century and that the pyramids of Sudan were prior to those of Egypt.?
    Dalia It is interesting to know that Alexander and Candace had a romantic encounte is it ?!.
    at last we must point to the last friday of al kandaka, and stand up and greet all those women activists , who scared and frightened the regieme with all the force and power he has.Freedom for all the detainees and together to a free Sudan .

    • Dalia
      16 July 2012 at 11:18 pm - Reply

      Amani, thanks for the kind words. I am by no means an expert. I am just a Sudanese woman who is proud of her culture and heritage.

  • Naira77
    13 October 2012 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Thnx for the historical info. Very interesting.

  • Tama’Re
    3 November 2012 at 12:20 am - Reply

    There is not a an inch of Africa that does not have a magnificent and glorious past. No-where to be found on the entire continent.

    Our people die through ignorance.

  • Saad
    15 May 2013 at 8:13 pm - Reply

    Wonderfull. Our bright history must push us to be a leaders in all aspects of life scince, moral, culture, and ethics.

  • Halfawi
    12 April 2015 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    “Sudanese” queens? 7abakat 7asa for Sudan & Sudanese to take credit for Nubian history & civilization while their contemporary descendants, my ppl, continue to suffer from land thefts, construction of dams on their lands & erasure of their culture, language & identity? Anyways…

    • Mayada Mannan
      27 February 2017 at 3:51 am - Reply

      There should be some mention of Nubia being destroyed by the building of dams, or even the fact how Nobiin language is banned in schools in Sudan and Egypt…its okay to love out past but lets not forget about the present people in Nubia being uprooted once more from their land.

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