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  • Thoughts on Native women

    Maternal societies...leadership roles...customs and traditions...
    feel free to add your thoughts and links. here's a fine site and good general article on the females of the Apache tribes.

    best
    CV


    ------------


    Profile Of An Apache Woman

    Jay W. Sharp



    If the Apache man defined the image of the warrior, raider and master tracker in the mystique of our western deserts, the Apache woman gave heart and sinew to her people under the punishing trials of a nomadic life.

    The woman saw her worth recognized in the most fundamental traditions of the tribe. "At marriage a man goes to the camp of the girl’s parents to live," said one of Morris E. Opler’s Chiricahua Apache informants in his book An Apache Life-Way: The Economic, Social, & Religious Institutions of the Chiricahua Indians. "We do this because a woman is more valuable than a man. We do it to accommodate the woman. The son-in-law is considered a son and as one of the family. The in-laws depend a great deal on him. They depend on him for hunting and all kinds of work. He is almost a slave to them."

    Puberty Ceremony

    An Apache girl, modest and chaste, knew her value would be ratified at her puberty ceremony, four days of song, dance, feasting and ritual, when her family and band ushered her into womanhood. She knew the traditional event – founded by White Painted Woman, one of the most important Apache deities – would assure her a long, healthy and happy life, provided it unfolded strictly in accordance with custom. The Apache girl and her parents anticipated her puberty ceremony as anxiously as a modern debutante and her parents look forward to her coming-out ball.

    Among the Chiricahua Apaches, for instance, the family members began preparations for the celebration months ahead of time. They solicited key figures to carry out ceremonies, notified the list of guests, laid up food for the feast, gathered presents, especially horses, for the performers, and cut timbers for ceremonial structures. Her mother, or perhaps her grandmother or an aunt, made her a new dress, not of lace and ribbon, but of buckskin, died yellow, elaborately and symbolically decorated.

    As the day of celebration drew near, the budding young woman would turn to a trusted aging woman for counsel and guidance about the upcoming ceremony and her future life. She would rely on a designated "singer," a combined shaman and priest, to supervise the erection of her teepee-like ceremonial structure and to chant the songs for her rituals. She would count on masked dancers, symbolic mountain spirits who wore headdresses mounted above buckskin hoods, to bless the ceremony, drive away evil and entertain the guests.

    "…when all was ready," said one of Opler’s informants, the young woman’s family "let many know, and they came from far places. All were invited." The young woman had her face marked with pollen, the symbol of life and procreation, by her counselor and guide. "The celebration was held for four days. The people had a good time at the dancing. First came the masked dancers. The [White Painted Woman and Child of the Water deities] gave the people the round dance to enjoy, but this was not to begin until after the performance of the masked dancers was over. After that came the partner dances."

    "All the Indians enjoy the feast—poor and rich, the able-bodied and the lame and blind," said another Opler informant. "This feast has been handed down for many, many years…..All the singing is supposed to work out the future life for the girl in order…that she have long life. The songs bring good luck. The ceremony works good luck for everyone that takes part in it and good luck for the old people during the time of the ceremony, also good luck for the spectators. They sing and pray for all."

    The Apache girl’s puberty ceremony signaled, not only the end of her childhood, but her availability for marriage. "A full oval face is liked and medium height, not too tall," according to an Opler informant. "We like small hands and feet, but not too thin. A plump, full body is best. Legs should be in proportion to the rest of the body and not too thin. Mouth and ears should be in proportion to the rest of the face, not big."



    [email protected] http://www.desertusa.com/ind1/indwom.html

  • #2
    Originally posted by Centrix Vigilis View Post
    Maternal societies...leadership roles...customs and traditions...
    feel free to add your thoughts and links. here's a fine site and good general article on the females of the Apache tribes.

    best
    CV


    ------------


    Profile Of An Apache Woman

    Jay W. Sharp



    If the Apache man defined the image of the warrior, raider and master tracker in the mystique of our western deserts, the Apache woman gave heart and sinew to her people under the punishing trials of a nomadic life.

    The woman saw her worth recognized in the most fundamental traditions of the tribe. "At marriage a man goes to the camp of the girl’s parents to live," said one of Morris E. Opler’s Chiricahua Apache informants in his book An Apache Life-Way: The Economic, Social, & Religious Institutions of the Chiricahua Indians. "We do this because a woman is more valuable than a man. We do it to accommodate the woman. The son-in-law is considered a son and as one of the family. The in-laws depend a great deal on him. They depend on him for hunting and all kinds of work. He is almost a slave to them."

    Puberty Ceremony

    An Apache girl, modest and chaste, knew her value would be ratified at her puberty ceremony, four days of song, dance, feasting and ritual, when her family and band ushered her into womanhood. She knew the traditional event – founded by White Painted Woman, one of the most important Apache deities – would assure her a long, healthy and happy life, provided it unfolded strictly in accordance with custom. The Apache girl and her parents anticipated her puberty ceremony as anxiously as a modern debutante and her parents look forward to her coming-out ball.

    Among the Chiricahua Apaches, for instance, the family members began preparations for the celebration months ahead of time. They solicited key figures to carry out ceremonies, notified the list of guests, laid up food for the feast, gathered presents, especially horses, for the performers, and cut timbers for ceremonial structures. Her mother, or perhaps her grandmother or an aunt, made her a new dress, not of lace and ribbon, but of buckskin, died yellow, elaborately and symbolically decorated.

    As the day of celebration drew near, the budding young woman would turn to a trusted aging woman for counsel and guidance about the upcoming ceremony and her future life. She would rely on a designated "singer," a combined shaman and priest, to supervise the erection of her teepee-like ceremonial structure and to chant the songs for her rituals. She would count on masked dancers, symbolic mountain spirits who wore headdresses mounted above buckskin hoods, to bless the ceremony, drive away evil and entertain the guests.

    "…when all was ready," said one of Opler’s informants, the young woman’s family "let many know, and they came from far places. All were invited." The young woman had her face marked with pollen, the symbol of life and procreation, by her counselor and guide. "The celebration was held for four days. The people had a good time at the dancing. First came the masked dancers. The [White Painted Woman and Child of the Water deities] gave the people the round dance to enjoy, but this was not to begin until after the performance of the masked dancers was over. After that came the partner dances."

    "All the Indians enjoy the feast—poor and rich, the able-bodied and the lame and blind," said another Opler informant. "This feast has been handed down for many, many years…..All the singing is supposed to work out the future life for the girl in order…that she have long life. The songs bring good luck. The ceremony works good luck for everyone that takes part in it and good luck for the old people during the time of the ceremony, also good luck for the spectators. They sing and pray for all."

    The Apache girl’s puberty ceremony signaled, not only the end of her childhood, but her availability for marriage. "A full oval face is liked and medium height, not too tall," according to an Opler informant. "We like small hands and feet, but not too thin. A plump, full body is best. Legs should be in proportion to the rest of the body and not too thin. Mouth and ears should be in proportion to the rest of the face, not big."



    [email protected] http://www.desertusa.com/ind1/indwom.html
    I find it fascinating how different cultures define comeliness, beauty and perfection in a woman. My Canadian Cousin maintains that the ideal woman for him would be a lass who is about 5 feet tall, no teeth and a flat head so he can rest his drink while he's watching hockey on tv.. Sorry folks, I couldn't resist, but that is a true approximation on his part.
    "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

    Comment


    • #3
      yes indeed heard that one before....on the other hand the larger...ie the fatter.. the native female was... in certain cultures the more prized she was amongst her male counterparts....

      not odd but different. Thanks fror the contribution.

      best
      CV

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Centrix Vigilis View Post
        yes indeed heard that one before....on the other hand the larger...ie the fatter.. the native female was... in certain cultures the more prized she was amongst her male counterparts....

        not odd but different. Thanks fror the contribution.

        best
        CV
        Probably because you get more body heat in the winter and shade in the summer..
        "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

        Comment


        • #5


          Well there was always that....I spose. But amongst the upper plains tribes it was often considered a sign of a father's success in the tribe ie. his children were well fed etc.... and amongst the Shoshone it was considered a sign of a good potential bearer of offspring.

          And now a bit on the fair ladies of the Cherokee nation with whom the great Sam Houston found love.

          best
          CV


          ----------

          Cherokee Women Had Important Influence in Daily Life of Tribe

          ARKANSAS TERRITORY — As Cherokee children of the 1820s sit around the wood stoves in the kitchens of their farmhouses on the Cherokee Reservation between the White and Arkansas rivers, they learn the history of their tribe. Their mothers tell them how important women and children were to the tribe in the old days when all the tribe lived east of the Mississippi River.

          In the 1500s, the Spanish explorers Hernando de Soto and Juan Pardo, met women chiefs with “considerable power among the southeastern Indians. Cherokee beloved women” were people of influence; like Nancy Ward, who spoke in council meetings and conducted negotiations.

          The Cherokees were a matrilineal tribe, which means daughters could inherit things from their mothers. So women could own property separately from their husbands, such as a house that a daughter inherited from her mother.

          The matrilineal clans owned the agricultural fields they farmed, and women often sold food and other goods to the European explorers and settlers.

          Work among the Cherokees was divided between women and men. The work year was divided into two seasons — the warm and the cold. During the warm season, women grew food plants in the kitchen gardens near their houses and grew corn in the larger agricultural fields. Men fished and did some hunting during the warm season. The cold season was the main times for men to hunt, while the women collected wild foods and firewood.

          Besides growing the food plants, women ran the household, cooked, and made baskets and pottery. They ground corn into meal in large wooden pestles or bowls, by pounding it with a mortar.

          cc/[email protected]


          http://www.oldstatehouse.com/educati...e_id=27&page=7

          Comment


          • #6
            Plump Women?

            Also a point for plump women is the body needs a certain percent of body fat to be present for ovulation. The Japanese and German incarceration camps for civilians did not have problems with women menstruating after the body fat fell below a certain point.

            Since many Indian women also had breast feeding children until the age of three or four, it was important to keep that "babyfat".

            My ex was only 5 foot two when i met her and 130 pounds. Her babyfat was in the correct places, though! Unfortunately after marriage she started training to be left on a desert island with little food!

            Last time I saw the "little woman" she down to about 250 or so...

            Pruitt
            Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

            Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

            by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

            Comment


            • #7
              excellent point's pardner.

              And now some scoop on the most famous of the Mohawk's women.

              ---------------



              By Julia White

              Molly Brant - Mohawk


              Molly Brant is very typical of the difficulties in identifying true facts in research materials printed about Native women. There is no question that Molly was by far the most powerful and influential woman in the Mohawk Nation. She single-handedly is credited with maintaining British loyalty throughout the Iroquois Confederacy. HOWEVER:
              Her date of birth is given as both 1735 and 1736
              Her Mohawk name was either Gonwatsijayenni, Degonwadonti or Tekonwatonti depending upon your resource
              She died in Brantford, Ontario, Canada in 1795, OR in Kingston, Ontario, Canada in 1796
              There is even disagreement over whether she was Mohawk or Iroquois
              We do have some fascinating facts about Molly that are not in dispute. She was born to a Mohawk father and an Iroquois mother in Conajoharie, New York, the older sister of the famed Mohawk leader Joseph Brant. Following the death of her natural father, Molly's mother married an Iroquois man who had been given an English name - Nicklaus Brant - and thus the English last name. She apparently had an uneventful childhood, and received an education that was unusual for any woman of that time period.
              It was at the age of 17 that Molly's destiny began to take shape when she met William Johnson, a famous British trader who later became Superintendent of Indian Affairs for the British Indian Department's Northern District. Johnson was clearly quite taken with Molly for, by the time she was 23, she had moved into his home and was fulfilling all the duties of wife, political consort, and hostess of his considerable estate. She went on to bear Johnson 9 children.

              Some accounts hold that Molly and Johnson were married in Native tradition, but it is established that they were never married in a white ceremony. Even though she was considered only Johnson's mistress by white leaders, she was nonetheless accepted as their peer and equal. Her skill as a diplomat was admired by the political leaders of the day. Her grace and dignity as a hostess made the Johnson estate a major destination to visitors from this country, Canada and Europe who could find an excuse to"stop by". In return for her hospitality, Molly received many gifts of every type and description. The personal items such as clothing, she carefully packed away. Other items were proudly displayed for all to see.

              Never shy, Molly used her considerable influence with the British to see that her people were well cared for. In times of disagreement, it was she who traveled into the villages and met with the Sachems (chiefs) to urge their continuing loyalty to the Crown. So effective was she that provisions were made by the British to support her financially for her entire life! Her yearly pension even exceeded that of her famous brother.

              Prior to his death in 1774, Johnson had the foresight to make a will which left all of his wealth and property to Molly. Additionally, he set out political appointments for the children and for Molly's brother, Joseph. As the armies of the American Revolution drew closer to her home, Molly knew that word of her loyalties to the British were too well known for her to be safe there. She gathered her worldly goods and moved into Canada. Even so, the invading armies reported digging up several barrels of dresses which had been left behind......buried in the backyard.

              Molly remained safe in Canada until her death. Even there, her efforts to keep the Iroquois loyal to the British never weakened. Molly Brant's life, and her influence over events of her time, are indeed legendary.


              [email protected] http://www.meyna.com/mohawk3.html

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
                Also a point for plump women is the body needs a certain percent of body fat to be present for ovulation.
                I didn't know that one, or any of the other points you made, but when I was living in New Mexico, a friend who was promised to another girl in an arranged marriage (yes, still had them in the 1970s) got out of it to marry another, much larger sister without embarrassing either family.

                When I asked about it, they told me that in that area of northern New Mexico, it was the wife's job to make the floors and the fireplace/hearth in a new house. Small women were not up to the job -- it takes a little weight -- so a heavier girl is better suited.

                I'm not sure if this is retro-logic, but that's what I was told.
                Barcsi János ispán vezérőrnagy
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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Janos View Post
                  I didn't know that one, or any of the other points you made, but when I was living in New Mexico, a friend who was promised to another girl in an arranged marriage (yes, still had them in the 1970s) got out of it to marry another, much larger sister without embarrassing either family.

                  When I asked about it, they told me that in that area of northern New Mexico, it was the wife's job to make the floors and the fireplace/hearth in a new house. Small women were not up to the job -- it takes a little weight -- so a heavier girl is better suited.

                  I'm not sure if this is retro-logic, but that's what I was told.
                  Not at all brother Janos for among the Din'eh (Din'e) and Ute the customs of the old ways are still very strong and your friend was indeed correct when he pointed that out. And below is a fine article dealing with the ladies.

                  -----------

                  http://researchmag.asu.edu/stories/Tohe.html



                  best
                  CV

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Often times i forget to speak about the 'eastern tribes' not because they are not interesting but because my focus/research/trips/visits/relations/ has always been on the Plains Indians and their brothers and sisters of the mountains and deserts to the West and SW. And no i havent forgotten the Pacific coast tribes either.

                    As i occassionaly add to this thread..presuming it to be informative.. for that is the intent... somebody occassionaly remind me that we had dozens of tribes east of the Mississsippi R.

                    And now for a look at the Shawnee....good article dealing with all sorts of facets to of course include the ladies.

                    best
                    CV
                    --------


                    http://www.geocities.com/SouthBeach/.../culture4.html

                    http://www.geocities.com/southbeach/cove/8286/

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