By Lillian A. Ackerman
Long ago, many local American cultures have handled men and women as equals. In ''A priceless Balance,'' Lillian A. Ackerman examines the stability of strength and accountability among women and men inside of all the 11 Plateau Indian tribes who stay this present day at the Colville Indian Reservation in north-central Washington country.
Ackerman analyzes tribal cultures over 3 ancient sessions lasting greater than a century--the conventional previous, the farming part while Indians have been pressured onto the reservation, and the twentieth-century business current. Ackerman examines gender equality by way of energy, authority, and autonomy in 4 social spheres: financial, family, political, and spiritual.
Although early explorers and anthropologists famous remoted circumstances of gender equality between Plateau Indians, ''A priceless Balance'' is the 1st book-length exam of a tradition that has practiced such equality from its early days of looking and amassing to the current day. Ackerman’s findings additionally relate to an exam of eu and American cultures, calling into query the present assumption that gender equality ceases to be attainable with the appearance of industrialization.
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Extra resources for A Necessary Balance: Gender and Power Among Indians of the Columbia Plateau
Border divides two tribes: the Okanogan and the Lakes. Members of these two groups continue to visit, exchange gifts, intermarry, and hold celebrations in common, but the alien political entities that are interposed between them make such interaction more difficult than in the past. S. ” THE RESERVATION SETTING The offices of the Colville Confederated Tribes and the headquarters of the Bureau of Indian Affairs are situated near Nespelem, Washington, the 30 A NECESSARY BALANCE approximate center of the reservation.
This has been done with all my writings, including this manuscript; while two minor details have been corrected, my general description of their culture has been accepted. CHAPTER 3 Traditional Plateau Culture The traditional Plateau culture described in this chapter provides a background for the gender status described in later chapters. The aboriginal culture, strictly speaking, occurred before 1855. In that year the Plateau peoples were pressured into signing treaties in which many people were forced to agree to leave their native lands and live on reservations.
Euro-Americans are so immersed in class structure that even some anthropologists tend to see hierarchy everywhere. They disagree about the nature of hunting-gathering societies, asking whether they are sexually egalitarian or even egalitarian. Sherry Ortner is among those who would answer in the negative. She notes that the “apparent benevolent authority of elders or the apparent altruism and solidarity of kin are often grounded in systematic patterns of exploitation and power” (Ortner 1995:i 79).