Native American Gender Roles
The woman was always kept busy in the camp. Responsible for making the family home, caring for that home, preparing food, making their clothing and so many other responsibilities. The woman is often referred to as a "slave" to her husband(Crow Dog, 2001). Whereas the man was often portrayed as sitting in the tepee, while the woman catered his every need. But, in truth, a Native Indian Man and Woman shared responsibilities equally. They shared the responsibilities of life, being partners along the same journey. The Native American woman worked as hard as her partner in the journey of life.
Native Americans established their relationships from being a descendent from a common ancestor, or through a clan system. The Cheyenne Tribe also traced their ancestry through the woman's linage. Moore (1996, Pg. 154) shows this when he say's "Such marriages, where the groom comes to live in the bride's band, are called matrilocal". The Montagnais-Naskapi a hunting society, stated by Leacock(Pg. 21) had been "matrilocal" until the Europeans stepped in. "The household either is of the nuclear type or is extended to include relatives of one or both parents (Dozier, 1971, Pg. 237).
Depending on each tribe's cultural orientations, the status and roles varied between men and women. Matrilneal and Matrilocal societies, women had a lot more power. Property, land,
tools and housing belonged to them. Property was usually passed down from Mother to Daughter and the husband joined the woman's band and family. In the Cherokee and Pueblo tribes, if a woman was unhappy with her spouse, she could simply toss his belongings from their home and that was that. Women's roles in the governing of the tribe was usually influential. The Iroquois Indians, the offices...
References: Dozier, E.P., (1971). The American Southwest. In Leacock, E.B., Lurie, N.O. (Eds.), North American Indians in Historical Perspective, Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc.
Moore, J.H. (1996). The Cheyenne. Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers, Inc.
Mary Crow Dog. Lakota Woman. May 2001
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