berdache


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The name given by early French explorers to Native Americans who fulfilled mixed gender roles, either as male two spirits or female two spirits

berdache

(bĕr-dăsh′) [Fr.]
A person of a definite sex, male or female, who assumes the status and role of the opposite sex and is viewed by the community as being of one physiologic sex but as having assumed the status and role of the opposite sex.
References in periodicals archive ?
This militaristic tradition bled into the domestic sphere and inspired the homegrown berdache phenomenon, in which coercion, rape, and child abuse were defining features.
Practically nothing is known about how the berdache lived outside the sexual arena.
Roscoe focuses on a male berdache, Wewha, who lived at Zuni Pueblo from 1849 to 1896, and who played the role of cultural ambassador between Indians and whites.
Berdaches often married men within the tribe, according to Walberg, but interracial marriage was taboo.
While I obviously will not suggest that mature berdaches did not at times act with something like free choice, the present paper will show that, as far as the origin of any given berdache is concerned, free choice is surely an untenable proposition if it is applied to young boys and children below the "age of reason," while the making of berdaches out of adolescents among the Plains nations will prove to also be a social construction.
For example in American Indian tradition, the berdache or the heyoehkah who gave spiritual leadership to the tribe were usually drawn from among the gay members of the tribe.
Her discussion of the Plains Indian berdache, a man who dressed as a woman and performed women's tasks, brought attention to considering all categories of gender rather than assuming a simple heterosexual female/male division.
Native American tribes such as the Cheyenne readily allowed Berdache or Two-Spirit men to marry masculine men.
Hay cofounded not one but two historic arenas for gay existence and expression--the leftist, political Mattachine Society (one of the first gay fights groups in America) and the spiritually based Radical Faeries (inspired by the Native American berdache tradition).
This is very valuable since usually in the anthropological and historical studies of third gender males like the American berdache or the Indian hijra, their sexual partners from the majority are never discussed.
the berdache archetype in modern times: "There are voices on the
Gutierrez points out that the berdache has often been appropriated by the gay liberation movement as a queer-positive icon embraced by many indigenous communities.