Native Women’s Roles in the Southwest
In the Native American culture, women are not much talked about even though they do play an important role in the Native society. Women don’t only serve as a housekeeper, which is the generally believed myth, but they rather do other thing like farming and crafting while the men were out hunting. Native Americans even believed that women had more healing powers than the men did and thus we have heard of more medicine women than medicine men. Also, to the native culture, music and dance is an important part of the culture. Even though throughout class we have learned that women play a lesser of a role in native music and dance, they actually do a lot more to provide to their society culturally. In my essay, I will be focusing on the roles of Native American women in the skills of music, dance and daily chores which are of particular importance to the Indian culture. We mainly focus on the southwestern region and how women in the southwest contribute which in many cases overlap with other regions.
The music in the southwest includes styles such as Navajo and Apache and they hold agricultural ceremonies like Kachina. Southwest is believed to be known for its outstanding women’s musical custom of using leg rattles which is used while they dance (Southwest Navajo Indians). Even though men are given importance while singing or dancing, women do play a supporting role in the dancing and singing and they are not completely ignored by the Indian community. Normally, women dance on their spots while men tend to move around in circles or other formations. Women also do sing, but many times men do the main stream singing, while the females accompany them. But in most cases women only accompany in the dancing or even dance solo without men rather than sing. These celebrations of dancing and singing occur during ceremonies held by the community. Two such celebrations that I found interesting and that played an important role in the...
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