The Kandakes of Kush.
Kandake, also known as Candace, Kendake or Kentake was the title for queens and queen mothers of the ancient African Kingdom of Kush, also known as Nubia and Ethiopia.
They were known as Nubian warrior queens, queen regents, and Ruling queen mothers. They controlled what is now Ethiopia, Sudan, and parts of Egypt. They co-ruled the Meroitic with their brothers (not their husbands), a trait of matrilineal societies. They were buried with rich treasure in their own pyramids.
Reliefs dated to about 170 B.C. reveal Kandake Shanakdakheto, dressed in armor and wielding a spear in battle. She did not rule as queen regent or queen mother but as a fully independent ruler. Her husband was her consort. Reliefs found in the ruins of building projects she commissioned, Shanakdakheto is portrayed both alone as well as with her husband and son, who would inherit the throne by her passing.
One of the most well known Kandakes was Amanishakheto known for defeating the Roman invasion of Nubia by Augustus and subsequently brokering a favorable peace treaty.
The “Kandakes/Candaces” serve as examples of women as powerful figures or clever strategists in their roles as queens, as warrior queens, or as romantic figures, they have had great appeal in times past, and will continue to do so in this present era of feminist or humanist interest in the subject.
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References: Nubian Queens in the Nile Valley and Afro-Asiatic Cultural History - Carolyn Fluehr-Lobban, Professor of Anthropology, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston U.S.A, August 20-26, 1998