Gender and Sexuality in Indigenous North America, 1400-1850 probes gender identification, labor roles, and political authority within Native American societies from the colonial period through the nineteenth century to illustrate how these aspects of Native American life were altered through interactions with Europeans. Editors Sandra Slater and Fay A. Yarbrough and their contributors deftly explore the historical implications of variations in the meanings of gender, sexuality, and marriage among indigenous communities in North America. The essays are linked by overarching examinations of how Europeans manipulated native ideas about gender for their own ends and how indigenous people responded to European attempts to impose gendered cultural practices at odds with established traditions. Many of the essays also address how indigenous people made meaning of gender and how these meanings developed over time within their own communities. Several contributors also consider sexual practice as a mode of cultural articulation, as well as a vehicle for the expression of gender roles.
Sandra Slater is an assistant professor of history and an affiliate faculty of women's and gender studies at the College of Charleston.
Fay A. Yarbrough is an associate professor of history at the University of Oklahoma and the author of Race and the Cherokee Nation: Sovereignty in the Nineteenth Century.