I first came across the term "Candace of Ethiopia" in the Bible. Acts 8:27 "So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians." However, the term "Candace" isn't a particular person's name but is the title of Ethiopian Queens (that is why the post is labeled in the plural "Candaces"). The African term for "Candace" is Kandake hence the difference in translation in the New Living version of that same verse "So he started out, and he met the treasurer of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under the Kandake, the queen of Ethiopia."
Who were the Candaces or Kandakes of Ethiopia? According to Wikipedia "Kandake" was a term used to describe Queens/Queen mothers in the land of Kush/Cush. Kush or Cush as it is sometimes spelled is the African term for Ethiopia/Nubia so I will use the term Ethiopia/Nubia/Cush interchangable. The land of Cush can be found in the Bible where the garden of Eden is described in Gen 2:13. " The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush". (thank God my Pastor teaches the truth of our African Biblical Hertitage).
The Kandakes were African Warrior Queens who were written about by Herodotus, Strabo, and Diodorus. In 332 BC, when Alexander the Great was trying to invade Nubia, the ruling Kandake prepared her army for battle causing Alexander the Great to retreat and turn back to Egypt out of fear. When I read the history of my people I was intrigued.
I then studied the Fulani (who are said to be the descendants of Ethiopians) and I discovered that one reason Fulani were sold into slavery by other Africans was because they would not give up their "female clans" which offended African nations who did not believe in female rulership.
Kandake's of Ethiopia:
Pelekh Candace of Meroe (c. 345 BCE–332 BCE)
Alakhebasken (c. 295 BCE)
Shanakdakhete (177 BCE–155 BCE)
Amanikhabale (50 BCE–40 BCE)
Amanirenas (40 BCE–10 BCE)
Amanishakheto (c. 10 BCE–1 CE)
Amanitore (1–20 CE)
Amantitere (22–41 CE)
Amanikhatashan (62–85 CE)
Maleqorobar (266–283 CE)
Lahideamani (306–314 CE)
Check out my follow up post: Cush and the Bible pt 1