Women and Power in Native North America

Overview

Since the colonization of indigenous peoples in North America, the roles of Native women within their societies have been concealed or, at best, misunderstood. By examining gender status, and particularly power, in ten culture areas, this volume, edited by Laura F. Klein and Lillian A. Ackerman, seeks to draw away the curtain of silence surrounding the lives of Native North American women.

Power is understood to be manifested in a multiplicity of ways: through cosmology, ...

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Overview

Since the colonization of indigenous peoples in North America, the roles of Native women within their societies have been concealed or, at best, misunderstood. By examining gender status, and particularly power, in ten culture areas, this volume, edited by Laura F. Klein and Lillian A. Ackerman, seeks to draw away the curtain of silence surrounding the lives of Native North American women.

Power is understood to be manifested in a multiplicity of ways: through cosmology, economic control, and formal hierarchy. In the Native societies examined, power is continually created and redefined through individual life stages and through the history of the society. The important issue is autonomy-whether, or to what extent, individuals are autonomous in living their lives. Each author demonstrates that women in a particular cultural area of aboriginal North America had (and have) more power than many previous observers have claimed.

In this volume:

"Introduction," Laura F. Klein and Lillian A. Ackerman;

"Gender in Inuit Society," Lee Guemple;

"Mother as Clanswoman: Rank and Gender in Tlingit Society," Laura F. Klein;

'Asymmetric Equals: Women and Men Among the Chipewyan," Henry S. Sharp;

"Complementary but Equal: Gender Status in the Plateau," Lillian A. Ackerman;

"First Among Equals? The Changing Status of Seneca Women," Joy Bilharz;

"Blackfoot Persons," Alice B. Kehoe;

"Evolving Gender Roles in Porno Society," Victoria D. Patterson;

"The Dynamics of Southern Paiute Women's Roles," Martha C. Knack;

"The Gender Status of Navajo Women," Mary Shepardson;

"Continuity and Change in Gender Roles at San Juan Pueblo," Sue-Ellen Jacobs;

"Women's Status Among the Muskogee and Cherokee," Richard A. Sattler;

"Gender and Power in Native North America: Concluding Remarks," Daniel Maltz and JoAllyn Archambault.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Revised papers from the December 1988 annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, plus two additional chapters, challenge the popular and academic generalizations of women's roles in Native North American cultures and dispute some long-held theories of gender relations. They explore topics such as the mother as clanswoman, continuity and change in gender roles, and the ways power can be manifested in Native societies including the Inuit of the Arctic, the Tlingit of the Northwest Coast, and the Cherokee of the Southeast. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806132419
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Lillian A. Ackerman, Adjunct Associate Professor of Anthropology at Washington State University, is the editor of Song to the Creator: Traditional Arts of Native American Women of the Plateau and coeditor of Women and Power in Native North America.

Laura F. Klein is Professor of Anthropology, Pacific Lutheran University.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction 3
2 Gender in Inuit Society 17
3 Mother as Clanswoman: Rank and Gender in Tlingit Society 28
4 Asymmetric Equals: Women and Men Among the Chipewyan 46
5 Complementary But Equal: Gender Status in the Plateau 75
6 First Among Equals?: The Changing Status of Seneca Women 101
7 Blackfoot Persons 113
8 Evolving Gender Roles in Pomo Society 126
9 The Dynamics of Southern Paiute Women's Roles 146
10 The Gender Status of Navajo Women 159
11 Continuity and Change in Gender Roles at San Juan Pueblo 177
12 Women's Status Among the Muskogee and Cherokee 214
13 Gender and Power in Native North America: Concluding Remarks 230
References 251
List of Contributors 283
Index 287
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