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ERIC Number: ED356124
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993
Pages: 6
Abstractor: N/A
Woman Spirit: Feminism and the American Indian.
Masters, Billie Nave
In mainstream U.S. culture, the idea of gender as a philosophical or spiritual value independent of sex is notably absent, and the presence of the masculine and the feminine in all of us is overlooked. In contrast, the concept of balance and compensation between the fundamental gender-defined energies of the universe is deeply rooted in American Indian philosophy and belief. The role of the feminine in American Indian culture provides insights into how American Indian people define themselves and their society. In early times, the primary responsibility of child rearing and education lay with the tribal elders. In this setting, a child's perception of gender roles became more generalized, not being limited to experience derived from parental contact. Female spirit and power have traditionally been recognized in ceremony, political power, and legend, and have influenced American Indian governance and social organization. Within each of us there are all capabilities. Our young people are on a rampage today because they sense something is missing in life. What they lack is something to do with their heart and spirit, with a true understanding of the meaning of life, with a way of living that embraces both masculine and feminine energy and releases potentials stifled by stereotypes and mainstream social conditioning. Holistic appreciation of tribal wisdom can help to generate the range of solutions necessary to reshape the world for our children and those yet unborn. (SV)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A