Changing Ones: Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America

Type
Book
Authors
ISBN 10
0312224796 
ISBN 13
9780312224790 
Category
Unknown  [ Browse Items ]
Publication Year
2000 
Publisher
Pages
329 
Abstract
 
Description
Gender diversity -in the form of third and fourth gender roles- is one of the most common and least understood features of native North America. Such roles have been documented in over 150 tribes throughout the continent. Widely accepted, often considered holy, berdaches, as they have been termed, combine the work and social roles of men and women along with traits unique to their status. In "Changing Ones", Will Roscoe, the award-winning author of "The Zuni Man-Woman, carefully reconstructs the place of these roles in traditional tribal cultures and traces their history up to the present. The result is a strikingly different view of native North America. Before the arrival of Europeans, marriages between berdaches and non-berdache members of the same sex were commonplace, and individuals sometimes changed their gender because of a dream. In place of stereotypes of hypermasculine warriors and submissive women, "Changing Ones" describes individuals with complex sexual and gender identities playing key roles in their tribes. As Roscoe shows, sexual and gender differences were accepted because of the unique contributions those differences made. Drawing on a series of case studies, "Changing Ones" goes on to explore the theoretical implications of multiple genders for the fields of anthropology, history, and gender studies, and concludes by offering some intriguing suggestions regarding the social origin of gender diversity and its role in human history in North America and elsewhere. A fascinating and comprehensive exploration of an overlooked dimension of native North America, "Changing Ones" also challenges many assumptions, old and new, about the nature of human sexual and gender diversity. 
Biblio Notes
 
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