By Carolyn Niethammer

ISBN-10: 0020961502

ISBN-13: 9780020961505

She was once either mum or dad of the fireside and, now and again, ruler and warrior, top males into conflict, handling the affairs of her humans, wearing battle paint in addition to necklaces and earrings.She outfitted homes and flooring corn, wove blankets and painted pottery, performed box hockey and rode racehorses.Frequently she loved an open and joyous sexuality sooner than marriage; if her marriage did not figure out she may well divorce her husband by means of the mere act of returning to her mom and dad. She mourned her useless by means of tearing her outfits and overlaying herself with ashes, and whilst she herself died used to be usually shrouded in her marriage ceremony dress.She used to be our local sister, the yankee Indian girl, and it truly is of her lifestyles and lore that Carolyn Niethammer writes during this wealthy tapestry of America's earlier and present.Here, because it spread out, is the chronology of the local American woman's existence. listed below are the beginning rites of Caddo girls from the Mississippi-Arkansas border, who bore their youngsters on my own by means of the banks of rivers after which immersed themselves and their infants in river water; listed below are Apache puberty ceremonies which are nonetheless carried on this day, whilst the associated fee for the celebrations can run wherever from one to 6 thousand money. listed here are songs from the evening Dances of the Sioux, the place ladies clustered on one facet of the hotel and boys congregated at the different; this is the Shawnee legend of the Corn individual and of Our Grandmother, the 2 girl deities who governed the earth. faraway from the submissive, downtrodden "squaw" of renowned delusion, the local American girl emerges as a proud, occasionally stoic, regularly human person from whom those that got here after can examine much.At a time while many modern American ladies are trying to find choices to a lifestyle and function they've got outgrown, Daughters of the Earth deals us an soaking up -- and illuminating -- legacy of dignity and objective.

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Additional info for Daughters of the Earth: The Lives and Legends of American Indian Women

Sample text

The hut was about a quarter of a From Menarche to Menopause mile from Mountain Wolf Woman's home, and apparently she spent most of the required four days there crying, frighten ed, and hungry, fo r she was forced to fast. Like other American Indian women, the Ojibwa maiden, in southern Ontario, was taught that at menarche she was a menace to herself and others and her presence blighted all young and living things. Dressed in very old clothes, she had to sit in a tiny hut in the forest, soot smeared around her eyes, obsessed and saddened with the te~ror of herself.

Obviously, many of these contraceptive measures failed and when this happened there wasn't much a woman could do except try another herbal remedy or beat herself on the belly with stones-and even that didn't always work. The leeway an Indian woman had in limiting the size of her family depended to a large extent on the society in which she lived. " Other groups were ex- '9 Daughters of the Earth tremely conservative in their customs relating to birth control. The Cheycnne, who lived in the area of \:Vyoming and South Dakota, considered abortion out-and-out hom icide, and a woman who killed her unborn child could expect to be prosecuted as a murderess.

Th e people wondered about it. One evening the girl took a rope and went out to get wood. A man who wanted to marT}' her followed her and hid in the bush, but she did not see him . After the girl had gathered quite a bit of dry wood and piled it up neatly, she carefully looked around in all directions. Then she uncovered a small round cactus which she had concealed with pine bark. The cactus had all the spines and outer covering peeled off. and the. )'oung woman sat down on the cactus and masturbated.

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Daughters of the Earth: The Lives and Legends of American Indian Women by Carolyn Niethammer


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