By Lillian A. Ackerman
Some time past, many local American cultures have handled men and women as equals. In ''A useful Balance,'' Lillian A. Ackerman examines the stability of energy and accountability among women and men inside all of the 11 Plateau Indian tribes who stay this day at the Colville Indian Reservation in north-central Washington kingdom.
Ackerman analyzes tribal cultures over 3 old classes lasting greater than a century--the conventional previous, the farming part whilst Indians have been compelled onto the reservation, and the twentieth-century business current. Ackerman examines gender equality by way of strength, authority, and autonomy in 4 social spheres: monetary, household, political, and spiritual.
Although early explorers and anthropologists famous remoted cases 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 searching and collecting to the current day. Ackerman’s findings additionally relate to an exam of ecu and American cultures, calling into query the present assumption that gender equality ceases to be attainable with the arrival of industrialization.
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Extra resources for A Necessary Balance: Gender and Power Among Indians of the Columbia Plateau
Stevens was appointed the first governor of the new territory and also the acting superintendent of Indian affairs. Indian unrest was common at this time. Outsiders were arbitrarily and illegally driving the Indians off their lands, taking their important root grounds, and depleting the game at their fishing and hunting sites. Miners were particularly troublesome, and many violent incidents occurred with this group (Bloodworth 195922-23). S. government to negotiate with the tribes for their lands to accommodate the white settlements that were already present and to concentrate the Indians in finite portions of the territory.
He further remarked that women gathered roots and berries, which became their exclusive property. ). ) . In 1834 the Reverend Samuel Parker, a Presbyterian,was the first clergyman of any denomination to enter the Plateau (Burns 1966:i 8). He described a Plateau woman’s work in disparaging terms, noting that she cut and gathered wood, unpacked horses, erected and dismantled lodges, gathered roots and berries, dressed skins, and fashioned them into clothing. Because this labor was heavy, he made the unwarranted judgment that it was degrading and further concluded that women had a low position in 18 A NECESSARY BALANCE the society (Parker i 844:197).
SUBSISTENCE The aboriginal Plateau peoples (see map 3) were gatherers-fishers-hunters. Fishing provided more food than hunting, and gathering was at least as important as fishing. The diet in most of the area consisted of approximately half vegetal and half animal foods, a situation that has implications for the gender system. ] and bitterroots [Lewisia rediviva]) formed the other equally important staple. In addition to these foods, berries, additional plant foods, deer, and other large mammals were important elements of the diet (Ackerman 1971:598;Anastasio ig7z:i 19, 122; Post 1938:iz).