By Lillian A. Ackerman
Long ago, many local American cultures have handled men and women as equals. In ''A worthwhile Balance,'' Lillian A. Ackerman examines the stability of energy and accountability among women and men inside all the 11 Plateau Indian tribes who reside this day at the Colville Indian Reservation in north-central Washington nation.
Ackerman analyzes tribal cultures over 3 ancient sessions lasting greater than a century--the conventional previous, the farming part while 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: financial, family, political, and non secular.
Although early explorers and anthropologists famous remoted situations of gender equality between Plateau Indians, ''A invaluable 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 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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Additional info for A Necessary Balance: Gender and Power Among Indians of the Columbia Plateau
Data for each of these components were extracted either from the published ethnographic reports on the Plateau or from data that I thought the component should encompass in the culture. For instance, I found nothing in the published ethnographies that could be construed as power within the economic sphere. Later field study in the traditional culture also failed to turn up anything that might TABLE 1 Power; Authority, and Autonomy in Four Social Spheres ECONOMIC SPHERE DOMESTIC SPHERE POLITICAL SPHERE RELIGIOUS SPHERE POWER The ability to deny economic benefits to others or the ability to exert influence informally on economic matters.
Different languages proved to be no barrier to such movement. A bilingual village composed of Kittitas, of the Sahaptian language group, and Wenatchi, of the Salish language group, existed near presentday Leavenworth, Washington (Ray 1939:s). While neighboring villages used adjoining territories in common for hunting and gathering purposes, fishing sites were recognized as belonging to a particular village. Despite this ownership, relatives from other communities and even strangers were welcome to use a village’s fishing station; but the host village, through the Salmon Chief, regulated access to the stations so that everyone could participate in the fishing (Ray 1939:16; Walker 1968).
In late fall they settled in their own permanent winter villages, situated near streams for the relative warmth that the water and lower elevation provided. Few economic activities were pursued during the winter. The bulk of the food during this period came from stores accumulated during the rest of the year, though a little hunting was done to relieve the monotony of dried foods. The winter was a time to hold the Guardian Spirit Dances, ceremonies attended not only by local residents but by people from nearby villages (Ray 1932:2 8).
A Necessary Balance: Gender and Power Among Indians of the Columbia Plateau by Lillian A. Ackerman