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Native American Women On few subjects has there been such continual misconception as on the position of women among Indians Because she was active always busy in the camp often carried heavy burdens attended to the household duties made the clothing and the home and prepared the family food the woman has been depicted as the slave of her husband a patient beast of encumbrance whose labors were never done The man on the other hand was said to be an loaf who all day long sat in the shade of the lodge and smoked his pipe while his overworked wives attended to his comfort In actuality the woman was the mans partner who preformed her share of the obligations of life and who employed an influence quite as important as his and often more powerful Native Americans established primary relationships either through a clan system descent from a common ancestor or through a friendship system much like tribal societies in other parts of the world In the Choctaw nation Moieties were subdivided into several nontotemic exogamous matrilineal kindred clans called iksa Faiman-Silva 1997 p8 The Cheyenne tirbe also traced their ancestry through the womans lineage Moore 1996 p 154 shows this when he says Such marriages where the groomcomes to live in the brides band are called matrilocal Leacock 1971 p 21 reveals that prevailing opinion is that hunting societies would be patrilocal Matrilineality it is assumed followed the emergence of agriculture Leacock p 21 then stated that she had found the Montagnais-Naskapi a hunting society had been matrilocal until Europeans stepped in The Tanoan Pueblos kinship system is bilateral The household either is of the nuclear type or is extended to include relatives of one or both parents Dozier 1971 p 237 The statuses and roles for men and women varied considerably among Native Americans depending on each tribes cultural orientations In matrilineal and matrilocal societies women had considerable
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