The Dora Milaje have been mentioned multiple times throughout my blog posts, and throughout the MCU, we know that Okoye and Ayo are both in the team.
But, just what is that team? Who are the Dora Milaje? And where can you read more about them?
All your answers and more are covered in this blog post!
What Are The Dora Milaje?
The Dora Milaje are a group of elite warrior women, made from every tribe in Wakanda, who form an army of bodyguards for the King of Wakanda, aka the Black Panther. Traditionally, they are also the women the King chooses from when choosing a Queen, the thought being that every tribe has a chance to have one of their own ascend to royalty.
Traditionally, the Dora only speak to each other and the King, and only in Hausa, an African language not spoken widely in Wakanda, which affords the King and the Dora Milaje (and eventually his wife) some privacy when conversing.
Who Created The Dora Milaje?
The idea of the Dora Milaje came from the Christopher Preist Black Panther run, though he created Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti of coming up with the idea of female bodyguards for the Black Panther.
Within the Marvel Comic Universe, the tradition of Dora Milaje goes back centuries, though the practice was disbanded for a while. T’Challa brought it back to help calm unrest between the tribes.
What Inspired The Dora Milaje?
The inspiration came from the Dahomey Amazons, which is an all-female regiment in the Kingdom of Dahomey in West Africa – the area is now called the Republic Of Benin.
What Does Dora Milaje Mean?
The name means ‘The Adored Ones.’
Who Has Been A Member Of The Dora Milaje?
Okoye, from the J’Kuwali tribe, has gone on to become the Director of the Agents Of Wakanda.
Nakia, from the Q’Noma Valley, fell in love with T’Challa and was certain that the two would marry. T’Challa himself viewed her, and Okoye, as daughters, and so had no intentions of marrying either. Jealousy pushed Nakia away, until she left the order, and became the villain Malice.
Aneka who was sentenced to death for killing a chieftain who abused women in his tribe, but escaped with her lover, Ayo, stole prototype suits and became a Midnight Angel.
Ayo, who broke Aneka out of prison, helped steal said suits and also became a Midnight Angel.
Asira is from the Jabari tribe, and is also a princess of said tribe.
M’yra was reassigned to protect Princess Shuri after she lost an arm in battle.
Zola, the woman who trained Nakia, Ayo and Aneka.
Has There Been A Dora Milaje-Centered Comic?
There have been two – The World Of Wakanda by Roxane Gay, which gives you the story of Aneka and Ayo. And Wakanda Forever by Nnedi Okorafor, where the team joins Spider-Man in the hunt for Nakia, aka, Malice.
The team also feature in the Doom War by Jonathan Maberry and appear in nearly all Black Panther comics after Christopher Preist’s run.
And that’s your quick rundown of the Dora Milaje! If you have any questions, leave them below and I’ll get right on with answering them!