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


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


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

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at