Capturing the Huk Amazons: Representing Women Warriors in the Philippines, 1940s-1950s

Citation:

Lanzona, Vina A. 2009. “Capturing the Huk Amazons: Representing Women Warriors in the Philippines, 1940s-1950s.” South East Asia Research 17 (2): 133-74.

Author: Vina A. Lanzona

Abstract:

In the 1940s and 1950s, at the height of the peasant-based Huk rebellion in the Philippines, major newspapers reported the capture of 'Huk Amazons' on an almost daily basis. Leonila was a gun-toting college student captured during military operations against the Huks; Liwayway was a former beauty pageant winner who swore to the authorities that she was 'merely the wife' of a Huk commander. All of these Huk women were indiscriminately labelled as 'Amazons' in the press and in the popular imagination. But what did the term actually mean in the context of the Huk rebellion and, more generally, in Philippine revolutionary history? This paper explores the contested representations of these Filipina women warriors.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Female Combatants, Gender, Women Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia Countries: Philippines

Year: 2009

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