Synopses & Reviews
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 womens clothes and did womens 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.
reveals how queer people in Native societies have been acknowledged, honored, and attributed with unique skills. Roscoe argues that these traditions can inform and enrich our lives today.
About the Author
is an award-winning author who publishes widely on Native American sexuality and gender. He lives in San Francisco.
Table of Contents
Foreword--Randy Burns * "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