Return of the Amazons
February 7, 2009 7:40 AM   Subscribe

It is said that the Amazons were tribes of women warriors in the East of Ukraine, in the Donesk area. They are back nowadays in the Carpathian mountains. (via)
posted by Brandon Blatcher (58 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
I think this is the same crew I always see loitering outside the skateshop downtown.
posted by docpops at 7:48 AM on February 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sorry, but these women each have two breasts, therefore they ≠ Amazons.
posted by Bromius at 7:48 AM on February 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


Bromius, perhaps they have not yet begun the pursuit of archery.
posted by shagoth at 7:52 AM on February 7, 2009


where's this lady, then?
posted by jonmc at 7:56 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Huh, sometime in the 80's I had heard they were on the moon.
posted by piratebowling at 7:57 AM on February 7, 2009


Can the help me read the first few chapters[PDF] of Carol Lay's new graphic novel-cum-diet book The Big Skinny?
posted by cimbrog at 8:01 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


A few years ago, the National Geographic TV channel called my office to check a few facts that were included in a documentary they were interested in purchasing. They asked me to set aside about an hour for the follow-up call the next week, as they had a few dozen items on their checklist. I spent that week preparing, learning as much as I could about what every ancient writer had ever said about the tribe. But once the fact-checking got started, their first question was: "OK, the documentary claims that historically the Amazons lived in the Ukraine area. Is this correct?" My response: "Ummm...well, Herodotus suggested that they might have lived in that area, but you do know that the Amazons were almost assuredly MYTHICAL, right?" "Oh, the documentary doesn't ever say that. I think we can end the process right now. Thanks for your time."
posted by zeugitai_guy at 8:08 AM on February 7, 2009 [14 favorites]


Hah. Those crafty lesbian separatists bought new uniforms and moved to the Ukraine so they could be featured in another MetaThread.

Okay, I'm game.

1. They're not like the KKK
2. Oppressed separatist groups have the right to own swords and bikinis
3. The need for a sheltered community where women can wear two-piece leather ensembles and boxing gloves, away from probing eyes, is waning due to increased tolerance and ubiquitous access to digital cameras.
posted by terranova at 8:13 AM on February 7, 2009 [11 favorites]


Interesting how most Amazons appear to be 19 years old.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:27 AM on February 7, 2009


So, it's a brothel, right? Like in Sin City?
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 8:28 AM on February 7, 2009


Interesting how most Amazons appear to be 19 years old.

Not really, considering this group was started about 4 years ago and training usually works best on young people, especially in the military.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:37 AM on February 7, 2009


And a white male capitalist robber barron stole the URL that is rightfully theirs!
posted by jonmc at 8:39 AM on February 7, 2009


They take LARPing seriously in the Ukraine.
posted by tylermoody at 8:43 AM on February 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


What is that dialog box asking meeeeee??
posted by fusinski at 8:47 AM on February 7, 2009 [3 favorites]


I never met a dyke I couldn't like--Lenny Bruce
for me, give me the Israeli lady warriors or the American babes in arms every time.
posted by Postroad at 9:00 AM on February 7, 2009


vous ne semblez pas avoir le plugin necesaire pour visualiser le diaporama, voulez vous le telecharger?

I want my mommy...
posted by Joe Beese at 9:00 AM on February 7, 2009


What is that dialog box asking meeeeee??

i think it's asking if certain parts of your body can be given to amazons permanently
posted by pyramid termite at 9:01 AM on February 7, 2009


voulez vous le telecharger?

getchi getchi ya-ya dada....
posted by jonmc at 9:03 AM on February 7, 2009 [13 favorites]


Attempts to reconnect to mythological roots in the modern day by utilizing antiquated symbols just look silly. If they want to reconnect to Amazonian warrior-women mythology in the modern day, then there should be body armor and rifles, not swords and leather skirts.
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:05 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


voulez vous le telecharger?

voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:05 AM on February 7, 2009


oh, DAMN, jonmc, damn, damn, damn
posted by pyramid termite at 9:06 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hah. Those crafty lesbian separatists bought new uniforms and moved to the Ukraine so they could be featured in another MetaThread.

No, no. These are good lesbian separatists: they're young, semi-naked, violent, and hot.


I kinda would have liked a little more on the what/why/how of it all. This just looks like some niche porn shoot.
posted by Sova at 9:11 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


What is that dialog box asking meeeeee??

I'm not sure, but I already have a telecharger so I clicked 'cancel'.
posted by dead cousin ted at 9:14 AM on February 7, 2009


The dialog asks, "You may not have the right plugin for this slideshow. Would you like to download it?" Pressing cancel closes it and the slideshow works fine.

Also photo #8? Ur doing being an Amazon wrong.
posted by Science! at 9:18 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Can the help me read the first few chapters[PDF] of Carol Lay's new graphic novel-cum-diet book The Big Skinny?"

[cum diet joke]
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:22 AM on February 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


This thread would have been useless without pictures.
posted by davejay at 9:27 AM on February 7, 2009


I kinda would have liked a little more on the what/why/how of it all. This just looks like some niche porn shoot.

There's not much info. The best I've been able to find is here, which says it's connected to "the movement to rediscover traditional Ukrainian/Cossack dance/fighting" and has a post a about it.

Are people having trouble viewing the gallery? If so, here's a better collection of the same photos and a few more.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:27 AM on February 7, 2009


My thoughts exactly, Sova. I'd like some background on this movement more than I'd like a pin-up of a snarling girl in a leather skirt. Unless, of course, that all there is to the movement...
posted by lekvar at 9:29 AM on February 7, 2009


Attempts to reconnect to mythological roots in the modern day by utilizing antiquated symbols just look silly. If they want to reconnect to Amazonian warrior-women mythology in the modern day, then there should be body armor and rifles, not swords and leather skirts.

I don't think the local government would like that very much....
posted by AdamCSnider at 9:32 AM on February 7, 2009


I'd rather they concentrate of recreating the tarpan.
posted by sciurus at 9:53 AM on February 7, 2009


Interesting how most Amazons appear to be 19 years old.

Not really, considering this group was started about 4 years ago...


You mean, around the time that Ruslana won Eurovision 2004 for Ukraine?
posted by Kabanos at 9:54 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do they want snoo-snoo?
posted by neuron at 9:54 AM on February 7, 2009 [5 favorites]


I could be wrong, but it looks like the image on their t-shirts is Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine's Prime Minister.
posted by Kabanos at 10:07 AM on February 7, 2009


Has anyone linked to this?
What is it Asgarda?

Asgarda – is a martial art of Ukrainian women.
Asgarda – is a complex system of harmonious development of women.
Asgarda – is a moral and ethical system for bringing up women.
Asgarda – proud and persistent women, good-natured wives, and good housekeepers.
Asgarda – complex system of harmonic development for women based on Cossack martial art Bojovyj Hopak and the elements of national Ukrainian dance. [etc.]
posted by pracowity at 10:47 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


but it looks like the image on their t-shirts is Yulia Tymoshenko

From the via link: —as you can see from the t-shirt in the top photo, these women also idolize Yulia Tymoshenko, the icon of the Orange Revolution and leader of the Ukrainian "Fatherland" party.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:48 AM on February 7, 2009


These don't look that tall.

Thanks for the katerinatarnous tag, but could have used the batshitinsane tag as well.
posted by sfts2 at 10:48 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


and their leader/teacher is a man. hm.

Supreme Teacher of Boyovyi Hopak
Volodymyr Pylat

posted by RedEmma at 10:57 AM on February 7, 2009


Asgarda – proud and persistent women, good-natured wives, and good housekeepers.

and their leader/teacher is a man. hm.

Though it is interesting that he thinks 'good-natured wives' should be handy with weapons. He'd better hope they stay good-natured.
posted by Sova at 11:02 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe in 35 years Asgarda will be like this.
posted by Xurando at 11:09 AM on February 7, 2009


Sorry, but these women each have two breasts, therefore they ≠ Amazons.

Bromius, perhaps they have not yet begun the pursuit of archery.

For me, the business about cutting off one breast gave the possibility the myth might be based on something real much more credibility.

I took the explanation that they did it for the sake of their archery as just an exceptionally dumb guess by ignorant men observing it all from the outside

I thought the real reason was much more likely to be that destroying one breast was a rite of initiation that symbolized and reinforced a pledge and an action that would be absolutely necessary for the maintenance of an all-female society of warriors: the sacrifice of all male infants.
posted by jamjam at 11:20 AM on February 7, 2009 [2 favorites]


This (youtube) appears to be the founder, Kateryna Vitaliyivna Tarnovska.
posted by pracowity at 11:39 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


In Tom Stoppard's "Rock and Roll", he mentions that the bit about the missing breast came from a misunderstanding of the name. In Greek, "a mazos" is "without breast".

As was common in antiquity, however, most of the people writing history were simply passing on stories, those that had actually traveled so far were relatively few, so it is likely that the Greeks, simply pronouncing the local Caspian name in their language, came up with a tale to explain its meaning.

There is archaeological evidence for female warriors in the area, however.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 11:43 AM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Though it is interesting that he thinks 'good-natured wives' should be handy with weapons.

Hey, I spend two weeks every summer hanging out with 10,000+ of my closest friends, many of whom think beating on one another with clubs is a good time and we're about as laid back a crowd as you might ask.

And I want a video of the fighting style that goes with the two single-edged curved blades!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:27 PM on February 7, 2009


what a bunch of lily-livered milquetoast pansies!

they'd be no match for the Night Witches.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:55 PM on February 7, 2009 [4 favorites]


They'd hit me.
posted by GuyZero at 1:09 PM on February 7, 2009


or they'd hit each other.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:20 PM on February 7, 2009


My knee-jerk reaction is that these ladies need to go online and play Warcraft or sumptin.
It's like those wannabe rappers who can't rap but look all tough and stuff. Then you find
out that they went to Harvard.
posted by doctorschlock at 2:10 PM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


UbuRoivas: thankyou for the Night Witches link - very interesting!
posted by ninazer0 at 2:33 PM on February 7, 2009


"Then you find out that they went to Harvard." Yeah.
posted by emhutchinson at 3:13 PM on February 7, 2009


Awesome post and totally interesting group of women. I've been interested in the Amazon idea since having to study study the part of Virgil's Aeneid, which depicts Camilla, the Amazon warrior for the British high school exam, a Latin "O" Level, way back in the early 1970's.

Interesting that the word, Amazon "is probably derived from an Iranian ethnonym *ha-mazan-, "warriors"."

I always wanted to visit Ephesus in Western Turkey, which I thought of as the city of the Amazon culture.

It's intriguing to me to have a new Amazon group in the beautiful Carpathian Mountains. I hope it's not a cult but an emotionally, socially healthy group. This Asgarda concept sounds like a good balance of physical, social and psychological elements.
posted by nickyskye at 3:17 PM on February 7, 2009 [1 favorite]


Heh. Nerds.
posted by zardoz at 3:20 PM on February 7, 2009


Can the help me read the first few chapters[PDF] of Carol Lay's new graphic novel-cum-diet book The Big Skinny?"

[cum diet joke]
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:22 PM on February 7


cum lite?
posted by liza at 4:35 PM on February 7, 2009


Why, in this day and age, are people still using Flash for something as trivial as a slideshow?
Real amazons would use jQuery.
posted by signal at 5:27 PM on February 7, 2009


Come on, who didn't want to be an Amazon when they were a teenager? I would have loved to have joined a group like this - like Girl Guides, only actually fun. I was a huge Marion Zimmer Bradley fan then - I started her Darkover novels solely because the first I found was about the "Free Amazons" of Darkover. Give me a stick to swing, and some cool dance/fighting moves, and I would have been in nerd heaven.

But I would have insisted on a more historically accurate outfit - pre-modern types don't usually do the bare midrift thing. Maybe a nice tunic, pulled in with a garter. And of course you don't go bare-legged on a horse - you need some nice tough leggings or chaps. (Not that I ride - but I can imagine the pain). Bradley's Amazons, whether in Eastern Europe/Asia (as in her Firebrand novel about Troy) or on another planet, always wear sensible, practical clothes.
posted by jb at 8:55 PM on February 7, 2009


My grandmother was Russyn, which is an ethnic group from the Carpathians with its own dialect (understandable to Russian-speakers) and religion (much like Russian Orthodoxy, but recognising the Pope as spiritual leader). She emigrated to Connecticut, as many Russyn did. They came to CT and Pennsylvania to work as coal miners or builders (and pop artists [Andy Warhol], not that this was a predictable outcome).

The Russyn were a proud and ferocious people. My grandmother was ferocious. She helped found her church in Bolton, CT. She married, but when she felt mistreated, she'd take the kids and leave her husband until he could persuade her to return. When he died, she had no resources, and put the kids in an orphanage until she found another husband, and was able to get them back. She pushed her children to become successes in America, which they did.

She was a real amazon. I'd like to know if these young women are Russyn.
posted by acrasis at 7:44 AM on February 8, 2009 [1 favorite]


Interesting that the word, Amazon "is probably derived from an Iranian ethnonym *ha-mazan-, "warriors"."

I love Wikipedia, but you don't want to use it as a source for etymologies. As the Online Etymology Dictionary says, it's "probably from an unknown non-I.E. word"; the Iranian idea is cute, but it's only a guess.
posted by languagehat at 12:21 PM on February 8, 2009


Come on, who didn't want to be an Amazon when they were a teenager?

I considered it for a while, but apparently the operation is irreversible.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:57 PM on February 8, 2009


Attempts to reconnect to mythological roots in the modern day by utilizing antiquated symbols just look silly. If they want to reconnect to Amazonian warrior-women mythology in the modern day, then there should be body armor and rifles, not swords and leather skirts.


[image nsfw]
posted by Restless Day at 4:05 AM on February 9, 2009


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