She has beauty, brains and soon a new prosthetic leg.
Agusta Urica, 31, was crowned the world's first Miss Landmine Wednesday in Luanda, Angola, beating out 17 other women who've lost limbs to landmines in this African nation still struggling with the vestiges of a 20-year civil war.
Urica, a survivor of a landmine that claimed a portion of her leg, was being fitted Thursday for a new prosthetic limb after cinching the win before dignitaries and the nation's first lady, Ana Paula dos Santos.
"Now she is a famous person here," organizer Morten Traavik said of Urica. "She will be the face and the ambassador of this group of people, for disabled people in general and landmine-disabled people in particular."
Urica, who is unemployed and represents the capital, Luanda, also won $1,000, a motorbike, clothes, a weekend in a luxury hotel and a variety of domestic appliances.
Traavik, a Norwegian theater director, devised the pageant to raise awareness of the plight of landmine survivors. Though Angola's civil war ended six years ago, as many as 8 million landmines remain buried throughout the country and an estimated 80,000 amputees live there.
"There is no sensationalistic intentions within Miss Landmine," Traavik told FOXNews.com last November. "Of course, the format has been chosen because it's obviously a very media-friendly forum, but it still is based very, very much on local culture, since beauty pageants are such a consistent phenomenon in Angolan contemporary culture."
Women representing each of the nation's 18 provinces competed Wednesday in this nationally televised event. Using crutches and artificial limbs, they strutted the catwalk twice — once in traditional robes of their province and once in gala evening gowns. But unlike most beauty pageants, there were no swimsuits.
"We don’t do bikinis in front of the president’s wife," Traavik said Thursday. "Not in Angola."
A judging panel comprised of five Angolan government officials and foreign dignitaries chose the winner from this groundbreaking group of women.
"They showed that they can, that they are able," said Candida Celeste, the Minister for Family Affairs, after the contest. "This will provide encouragement to all those left invalid by the war."
The idea for Miss Landmine was born four years ago when Traavik traveled to Angola's capital, Luanda, and was struck by two things: the country's landmine problem resulting from more than 20 years of civil war, and Angolans' love of beauty pageants.
"We tend to associate beauty pageants with sleaze and exploitation of women and so on, but this felt very different. This was much more of a celebration, much more of a carnival-esque in many ways," he said of his first pageant experience in Angola.
Preparations for this year's contest began in 2006, when 10 of the contestants were flown to the Angolan capital to participate in a photo shoot. For their work, the women were paid $200 a day and given the clothing and jewelry they wore for the pictures.
The photos were placed online where Internet voters could choose their own favorite Miss Landmine. Nearly 10,000 people from 30 countries voted and Miss Cuanza Sul, Maria Restino Manuel, 26, was crowned the Internet winner with 29 percent of the vote, Traavik said. Like Urica, she also won a custom-made prosthetic limb.
"They were very, very happy to take part," Traavik said. "Of course, there were some that were disappointed for not winning, but then again that's the nature of a pageant."
The next Miss Landmine pageant will take place in Cambodia in 2009.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.