Changing Ones

Overview

In many Native American tribal societies, it was not uncommon for some men to live as women and some women to live as men. In this land, the original America, men who wore women’s clothes and did women’s work became artists, ambassadors, and religious leaders, and women sometimes became warriors, hunters and even chiefs. Same-sex marriages flourished. Berdaches—individuals who combine male and female social roles with traits unique to their status as a third gender—have been documented in more than 150 North ...

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Overview

In many Native American tribal societies, it was not uncommon for some men to live as women and some women to live as men. In this land, the original America, men who wore women’s clothes and did women’s work became artists, ambassadors, and religious leaders, and women sometimes became warriors, hunters and even chiefs. Same-sex marriages flourished. Berdaches—individuals who combine male and female social roles with traits unique to their status as a third gender—have been documented in more than 150 North American tribes. By looking at this aspect of non-Western culture, Roscoe challenges the basis of the dualistic way most Americans think about sexuality, and shakes the foundation of the way we understand and define gender.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Will Roscoe is writing the history the history books don't talk about.” —Bay Area Reporter

“Changing Ones is the culmination of two decades worth of superb scholarship, a landmark work.” —Lambda Book Report

“The strength of this work is its gathering together writings by a serious scholar of American Indian cultures who as the first to bring Native voices to the conservations about homosexuality, sex role transformations, and gender diversity.” —Great Plains Quarterly

Booknews
Describes the role of the berdache, a previously overlooked aspect of Native American life. Occurring in over 150 tribes in pre- Colombian North America, the berdache were individuals who embodied both genders and combined male and female social roles with traits unique to their status as a third gender. The author draws on the historical record and examines berdache lifestyles among the Crow, Navajo, the Cheyenne, and many others. He looks at female warriors and chiefs, explores the mythological background of shamans and berdaches, develops a theory of gender diversity, and looks at the implications of all these for contemporary homosexuals in the Native American community. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312224790
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 6/1/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 548,019
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Will Roscoe is an award-winning author who publishes widely on Native American sexuality and gender. He lives in San Francisco.

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Table of Contents

Foreword—Randy Burbans
• "Strange Country This": An Introduction to North American Gender Diversity
• "That Is My Road": The Life and Times of a Third-Gender Warrior
• The One Who Is Changing: Hastiin Klah and the Navajo Nadleehi Tradition
• Warrior Women and Women Chiefs: Alternative Identities and Genders for Native Women
• Two-Spirited People: Gay Americans Today
• Gender without Sex: Toward a Theory of Gender Diversity
• Dreams of Power: Third and Fourth Genders in Yuman Culture and History
• Close Encounters: A Model of Native Survivance
• Narratives of Domination or the Cant of Conquest? Competing Views of Alternative Genders
• Conclusion: The Past and Future of Gender Diversity
• Glossary of Native Terms for Alternative Gender Roles and Sexuality by Language Family
• Tribal Index of Alternative Gender Roles and Sexuality

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Changing Ones

    Changing Ones is an excellent introduction to Native American life as it has been in the past. Sadly, It has become apparent to me that "First Nations" peoples have become accustomed to the influence of the so called white men's view of sexuality and have adopted their standing on sexuality (mainly heterosexual.) I first discovered this book by researching sexuality as it was viewed in early American and European history. I happened on to this more or less by accident. It discusses the way europeans viewed what the native americans viewed as third and fourth genders and perfectly acceptable. One of the nice things about this book is that it gives a breakdown on the more prevelant tribes and how they accepted or rejected third and fourth gendered members of their Tribes. Will Roscoe has done a great job of writing and it is interesting to read something that is not the normal dry writing of an anthropologist's perspective. This was a very enlightening book on the subject and broadened my horizons. It has become apparent to me that most history books have conveniently passed by an important part of history and have left out part of the picture. I recommend this book to anyone that is interested in discovering a broader perspective on American History. Read this book with an open mind and gain a broader view of the Americas.

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