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ERIC Number: ED173002
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1978
Pages: 31
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Transformation of Tradition: Autobiographical Works by Native American Women.
Bataille, Gretchen
The Indian woman has been viewed as a subservient and oppressed female; often overlooked were the economic, social and political positions women held within tribal societies. The biographies and autobiographies of Indian women that have been obtained over the last century can be used to examine this contradiction in perspectives. These accounts have undergone changes in several significant ways over the years, including changes in the perception of audience, purpose of revealing the life story, and the economic and/or political climate of the period of recording. The earliest material was told by the women through an interpretor to an anthropologist. The purpose was not to focus on an individual life but to illuminate a culture and the scientist or editor chose what was significant. Emphasis in early accounts was placed on the roles of males and females, the familial relationships, material culture, and a regret for the changes from the old ways. In recent narratives Indian women often are writing their own stories and choosing the material they themselves want to include. Many of these stories reflect the dilemma of the pulls between the traditional ways and the pushes toward acculturation. The Indian woman is and has been strong within her culture and the life stories of Indian women support this perspective. This document discusses specific biographies of Native American women; it provides bibliographic citations for the sources quoted and additional listings for other autobiographical works and resource material. (DS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A