Ababuo lived a simple life in her village as the wife of a powerful warrior with their two strong sons and a beautiful daughter. When their village had been attacked, she was taken as a prize by men dressed in black with strange markings on their face. She refused to submit, fighting the men who tried to claim her as their own. She was surprised when she could understand the men’s language. Her captor made a deal. He would not tie her in the saddle if she would stop fighting.
During the long return journey to where their tribe lived in southern Egypt, the men came to respect her for her stoic acceptance of her situation, doing her share of the work, and for not using her woman’s wiles to make her life easier. When they reached camp, all the women were bathed and dressed to be put on display for the single men. She chose to fight, beating all comers until one the tribe’s headmen called a halt. In the end her strength won them over, and she was given the honor of becoming one of their warriors.
After the ceremony she woke up dead with the markings of a warrior on her cheek.