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Men as Women, Women as Men

Changing Gender in Native American Cultures

By (author) Sabine Lang
Format: Hardback
Publisher: University of Texas Press, Austin, TX, United States
Published: 1st Jun 1998
Dimensions: w 165mm h 241mm
Weight: 748g
ISBN-10: 0292747004
ISBN-13: 9780292747005
Barcode No: 9780292747005
As contemporary Native and non-Native Americans explore various forms of gender bending and gay and lesbian identities, interest has grown in berdaches, the womanly men and manly women who existed in many Native American tribal cultures. Yet attempts to find current role models in these historical figures sometimes distort and oversimplify the historical realities. This book provides an objective, comprehensive study of Native American women-men and men-women across many tribal cultures and an extended time span. Sabine Lang explores such topics as their religious and secular roles; the relation of the roles of women-men and men-women to the roles of women and men in their respective societies; the ways in which gender-role change was carried out, legitimized, and explained in Native American cultures; the widely differing attitudes toward women-men and men-women in tribal cultures; and the role of these figures in Native mythology. Lang's findings challenge the apparent gender equality of the berdache institution, as well as the supposed universality of concepts such as homosexuality.

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