The Role of Native American Women Essay

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With Native Americans being the first inhabitants of North America, many people often question what traditions they have created on their own, before the ideas of the pale settlers. When taking a look into their interesting beliefs, it is obvious to see an intricate basis or animals and spirits that guide the lifestyles of Indians all over the country. Even their society had a special way of doing things, including gender roles of both men and women. There are many customs that have seemed odd to the average American throughout the centuries, but Indians found these a normal way of life. Even the lifestyles of Native Americans were unique, from hunting animals to tanning buffalo hides. Gender was a major …show more content…

Women gathered food in groups; they had their own societies for ceremonial activity. They raised their children together until the children were about six or seven, at which point boys generally were sent to spend time with male relatives to be taught their roles in life. Girls remained with their mothers, learning the roles that they would eventually endeavor (Finch 44).
Standards for women's behavior were strict. Women bore and raised children. Public praise focused on their reputations for hard work, productivity in tanning hides, making pottery or exquisite quillwork, or constructing buffalo-skin tepees. Most importantly, Native American women were critiqued for the actions of the children that they raised. These were the most lasting contributions that women made to society; therefore they reflected most favorably on them as individuals (Native). Therefore, to have a good reputation among their peers, their children had to behave well.
The experience of vision seeking was characteristic of many but not all tribes. The seeker was sent out after having been instructed on what to expect. The person was often purified with a sweat bath and told to fast and pray for four days. After that, the nature of vision questing differs among tribes. In some areas vision quests were expected of all males; in some areas females were also expected

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