Women of the Earthlodges
Written works and paintings by observers of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara peoples of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries traditionally focused on the role of men.
In Women of the Earth Lodges, Virginia Peters uses women's accounts, myths and creation stories, and anthropological and archaeological data to examine the influence and vitality of Plains Indian women. She demonstrates that village life was organized around women's labor and that women acted as partners with men in economic, social, and religious affairs -- functions overlooked by contemporary observers.
Peters follows the life cycle of a representative woman to explore female farming, trading, and hunting activities, the organization of village life, and the culture of war. Basic to village society was deep faith in an order in which the generative female principle had primacy, sustaining and defining the people and everything in their world, from sun and rain to bison, stones, and corn.
Virginia Peters received an M.A. in anthropology from George Washington University, Washington, D.C. She is the author of The Florida Wars.
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