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The Sphinx: a mythical creature with the body of a lion and (at minimum) the head of a human (most popularly, a woman).
So I had this thought: What if a Sphinx was somehow a combination of a lioness and an Amazon? Think about it: lionesses are like the Amazons of the savannah. They hunt for the food. They nurture the young. They don’t trust men/males (and really they only keep them around for mating, which is fucking painful for them).
In my head, I see an African tribe of Amazons. As a rite of passage, they must hunt and kill a male lion. After successfully hunting the male, they wait for the pride of lionesses to come. And they always do. The lionesses acknowledge the skills of the young Amazon and take her as a part of their pride - to learn to stalk silently as a shadow, to hide in plain sight amongst the high grass, to work as a team to take down much larger, and more dangerous prey. The longer the woman stays with the pride, the more adept she becomes. Some who learn the skills return to the tribe to teach and nurture future Amazons. Others remain with the pride, slowly changing until they become something more than both lioness and woman; a Sphinx.