Martha Garcia and Paula Gunn Allen both write in their essays of the challenges that Native American women have historically faced and continue to confront to this day. Major contributors to these challenges are the stereotypes and misconceptions by white male anthropologists and missionaries who studied the Native American tribes and found the women subservient and passive. Both of these authors strongly disagree in this characterization of Native American women and instead portray them as important and honored members of their tribes who will struggle but will continue to have a tremendous impact on the future of their tribes. Garcia’s research concentrates on previously published works on Cheyenne women by white men and reexamines these studies through a feminine point of view. As these white men migrated West, they recorded their observations. Unfortunately their reports were flawed and biased because the white men’s access was limited due to their outsider status and gender. These early observations reported Native American women performed menial work for the tribe such as berry picking. Garcia notes that what these men did not realize and understand was the rich communal life these women shared while berry picking. These men were also not aware of the culturally valued norms of feminine behavior such as modesty, kindness and being private, which led them to see these women as passive and subservient. The Cheyenne women were simply possessing the natural tribal values encouraged for women. By looking at the reports through a feminine lens, Garcia found that Cheyenne women have historically held an extremely important role within their culture, especially in their religious ceremonies. Cheyenne w... ... middle of paper ... ...thirsty savages. These men are fulfilling the white man’s vision of the savage Indian by abusing women. In order to stop the abuse, Garcia believes these popular culture stereotypes must be confronted and changed. If media, literary and artistic images are not changed to accurately reflect the lives of Native Americans, the violence will continue. Martha Garcia and Paula Gunn Allen both write of the historical challenges that Native American women have faced and continue to face to this very day. They describe these women as honorable, brave and proud members of a culture who are integral members of their people’s past and future. By bringing awareness of the faulty reports and stereotypical characterizations of the Native American population, these two women shed light on the importance of woman to the survival of the Native American culture.
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Inventing the Savage was an interesting look in how Native Americans are expected to assimilate into culture, and because they have no desire to assimilate in “Euro-American” culture, they are treated harshly. Though this book was published in 1998 (15 years ago), there is most likely unfair treatment for Native Americans in both regular society and prisons. By writing this book, Ross gives a great perspective on how Native Americans are treated like “cultural prisoners” and how the “Euro-Americans” do not take kindly to the behaviors of the Native Americans. Overall, this book is highly recommendable to anyone who has an interest in learning about Native American criminality, as well as the treatment of women in prison, but more importantly the treatment of Native Americans in prison even today.
Juliana Barr’s book, Peace Came in the Form of a Women: Indians and Spaniards in the Texas Borderlands. Dr. Barr, professor of history at Duke University-specializes in women’s role in American history. Peace Came in the Form of A Women, is an examination on the role of gender and kinship in the Texas territory during the colonial period. An important part of her book is Spanish settlers and slavery in their relationship with Natives in the region. Even though her book clearly places political, economic, and military power in the hands of Natives in the Texas borderland, her book details Spanish attempts to wrestle that power away from indigenous people through forced captivity of native women. For example, Dr, Barr wrote, “In varying diplomatic strategies, women were sometimes pawns, sometimes agents.” To put it another way, women were an important part of Apache, Wichita, and Comanche culture and Spanish settlers attempted to exploit
The contrast between the two groups of women was tremendous. Haudenosaunee women held prominent, decision-making positions in their matriarchal political system. They had the power to choose their clan’s chief, and their authority as clan mothers was respected by Haudenosaunee law. Spiritually, these women were viewed as being connected to Mother Earth and were responsible for leading various religious ceremonies, alongside of men. Haudenosaunee women also shared agricultural work with men, dealing with the work load on a communal basis. Not only did they have control of their own property, but women also had authority over their own bodies, including the responsibility of childbearing. This authority was developed in the Haudenosaunee matriarchal system of family in which children were considered members of the mother’s clan and husbands were brought into the wife’s longhouse upon marriage. Women had final domestic control; violence against women and children was not tolerated because wives had the power to kick their husbands out, ordering them to “pick up [their] blanket and budge” (Wagner, p. 47).
There have been many influential cultural leaders throughout the history of the world. These leaders worked to change and improve society for those without a voice of their own. Minorities often suffer miserable conditions until someone takes a stand to demand change. In the United States, Native Americans are treated as second-class citizens who don’t have the equality that all persons in this country should have. Many well known Native Americans have worked to achieve better education, healthcare, housing, and jobs for their people. One of the few women in this group, Wilma Mankiller, made many important accomplishments in modern Native American society. As a member of the Cherokee tribe, Mankiller overcame many obstacles to become the first female Deputy Chief, as well as the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. Wilma Mankiller has become one of the most important leaders in Native American history as well as an influential advocate for women's rights.
Throughout the 1925-1975 period, the Native American population of the United States has faced many obstacles. Just a few years before, they had been suppressed by the federal government’s “Anti-Long Hair” policy for all Native American males. This would set the stage for future cultural restraint on the Indians. However, they continued to fight for equality. All through this time period, the experience of the Native American culture has been a struggle for equality in their homeland.
Deloria, in the introduction, begins with the picture of an American Indian using a modern bubble-style hair dryer at a hair salon. This image often evokes a chuckle, as Deloria states, because of our inherent expectation for an Indian to be wearing buckskin in the plains, rather than in a hair salon. Often, once the topic of stereotype, malice, and expectations are brought up, the chuckle or grin is gone. The preconceived ideal of what an American Indian should be is so deeply ingrained within us that we do not even give it a second thought when judging a supposed anomaly as the woman under the hair dryer. Deloria organizes his work into five sections, in the form of essays. These tackle the issues surrounding the stereotypes and expectations that we have for the Native peoples, in a variety of different aspects. The first one focuses on the idea of violence, and the popular notion of a savage depiction of the Indians. The second focuses on the Native American view of themsel...
Feminism and Indigenous women activism is two separate topics although they sound very similar. In indigenous women’s eyes feminism is bashing men, although Indigenous women respect their men and do not want to be a part of a women’s culture who bring their men down. Feminism is defined as “The advocacy of women 's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes.” In theory feminism sounds delightful despite the approaches most feminists use such as wrong-full speaking of the opposite gender. Supposedly, feminism is not needed as a result of Indigenous women being treated with respect prior to colonization. Thus, any Native woman who calls herself a feminist is often condemned as being “white”. This essay argues that Indigenous women may
For example, in the local school, stereotypes such as the image of the ‘wild man’ are consolidated by claiming that there was cannibalism among the indigenous people of the northwest coast (Soper-Jones 2009, 20; Robinson 2010, 68f.). Moreover, native people are still considered to be second-class citizens, which is pointed out by Lisamarie’s aunt Trudy, when she has been harassed by some white guys in a car: “[Y]ou’re a mouthy Indian, and everyone thinks we’re born sluts. Those guys would have said you were asking for it and got off scot-free”
A brief description of the Pueblo Indian culture and religion are needed to get a full understanding of why their dances were misinterpreted by white settlers and why the Indians were judged and treated in such an unjust way. Pueblo Indians lived in Arizona and New Mexico and had a very different culture religiously than the white man. White religious history shows us that women were not seen, in European and new American culture, as not being significant to religious practices. In the Pueblo religion, however the woman was regarded in a different light. They rarely practiced in religious rituals but were the center of their people’s religion. Pueblos had rituals that were performed exclusively by men, and there, these men imitated women’s reproductive pow...
The Cheyenne Indians had quite an interesting life and many different customs that even live on today. The daily life of a Cheyenne always began before the sun rose. Women and men each had their own separate duties for the day. The women would prepare the meals while the men and boys would herd up the horses back to their camp. Each day, also, there were daily activities announced to everyone in the tribe. These activities included the children to go out and play for most of the day, the women would clean and have their time to converse with the other women, and the men would go out and play w...
“If you plan to be born, make sure you are born white and male” (Crow Dog, 1990, p. 4). Lakota Woman by Mary Crow Dog is a passion-filled book that addresses many of the challenges faced by American Indian women between 1954 and 1990. Crow Dog, half American Indian, half white was a member of The Brule tribe, a small tribe belonging to the larger Western Sioux, who grew to be a well-known activist in the American Indian Movement (AIM). Lakota Woman covers not only significant protests and rallies such as the Trail of Broken Treaties and the Indian Occupation at Wounded Knee but also speaks to the day-to-day life of a woman of the Sioux tribe. Meritocracy, or lack thereof, extreme sexism, racism, white denial and compliance are all important themes discussed in Lakota Woman.
All men are created equal (Declaration of Independence). Yet, the Native Americans continue their fight for decades since colonization. There is a constant struggle to urge for equality from William Apess in his 1833 essay, An Indian’s Looking-Glass for the White Man. In modern day, the fight continues after his lifetime. Equality and freedom is the goal for most Native Americans. Although securing the rights of the Native Americans are progressing, it is slow. Therefore, the inequality continues at a faster pace, as opposed to major changes that would impact the Native Americans positively. Throughout history, they are exploited for their land and natural resources and severely underfunded. As a matter of fact, the common theme seems to be that the Native Americans are continuously suppressed by the “superior race”, which showcases the prevalent thoughts in America. William Apess and
In American Indian Stories, University of Nebraska Press Lincoln and London edition, the author, Zitkala-Sa, tries to tell stories that depicted life growing up on a reservation. Her stories showed how Native Americans reacted to the white man’s ways of running the land and changing the life of Indians. “Zitkala-Sa was one of the early Indian writers to record tribal legends and tales from oral tradition” (back cover) is a great way to show that the author’s stories were based upon actual events in her life as a Dakota Sioux Indian. This essay will describe and analyze Native American life as described by Zitkala-Sa’s American Indian Stories, it will relate to Native Americans and their interactions with American societies, it will discuss the major themes of the book and why the author wrote it, it will describe Native American society, its values and its beliefs and how they changed and it will show how Native Americans views other non-Natives.
For most Americans, their knowledge of Native Americans and their culture of both past and present are based predominantly on outdated labels and stereotypes. Over the past 7 weeks, we have covered several sources that have contributed to the continuous development of the stereotypical images that have unsettled the Native Americans over time. These misleading pictures, novels, Hollywood films, professional sports mascots, and other mediums have misrepresented and alienated the indigenous peoples within in each respective time period regarding the current Euro-American centered culture. In order to empathize with their situation one need to understand how and why these stereotypical images of Native Americans were first created in the first