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Changing Ones Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America cover
  • ISBN: 9780312175399
  • ISBN10: 0312175396

Changing Ones Third and Fourth Genders in Native North America

by Will Roscoe

  • List Price: $24.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr
  • Publish date: 03/01/1998
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Will Roscoe documents one of the most distinctive, widespread, and least known aspects of native North America. 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 women's clothes and did women's work became artists, ambassadors, and religious leaders, and women sometimes became warriors, hunters, and even chiefs. Same-sex marriages flourished. Male and female berdaches -- individuals who combine male and female social roles with traits unique to their status as a third gender -- have been documented in over 150 North American tribes. This is a provocative look at alternative genders in Native American culture. The indigenous peoples of North America, whose principles are as ancient as those of Judeo-Christian culture, saw no threat in homosexuality or gender variance. By looking at this aspect of non-western culture, Roscoe challenges the basis of the dualistic way most of us think about sexuality, and shakes the foundation of the way we understand and define gender.
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