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Native and European Americans Gender Roles Women have not always had an easy life In order to fully understand and analyze a period of time a full examination of womens everyday life is necessary Although through history inferior to men the roles of and status of women in the sixteenth seventeenth and eighteenth century America contributing to a prosperous society The gender roles and status of women had some similarities but overall differed greatly between the Native American women the European American women and the enslaved African Women Women had very active roles in Native American culture They were always busy in the camps often carried heavy burdens attended to the household duties made the clothing and prepared the food for the family The women have been depicted as the slave of her husband but a patient beast of encumbrance whose labors were never done This was not true at all The men and the women often shared the obligations of life Men took responsibility for fishing as well as the hunting whereas women harvested and prepared the products of wild plants including the grinding and milling of seeds The mens work activities entitled travel while the womens activities were to stay close to the village where they bore and raised the children Boyer 4 Women sometimes had more influence over the men They sometimes served as sachems or chiefs Property usually passed from mother to daughter and the husband joined his wifes family He was more of a stranger and yielded authority to his wifes eldest brother Moreover the husband was unlikely to become an authoritative domineering figure Women could end their marriages by tossing her husbands belongings out the door and sending him back to his family Boyer 13 Women had certain common tasks Many of these include cleaning and maintaining the living areas tending to the children gathering edible plants pounding corn into meal extracting oil from acorns and nuts cooking
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