By Lillian A. Ackerman
Long ago, many local American cultures have taken care of men and women as equals. In ''A beneficial Balance,'' Lillian A. Ackerman examines the stability of strength and accountability among women and men inside all the 11 Plateau Indian tribes who stay at the present time at the Colville Indian Reservation in north-central Washington country.
Ackerman analyzes tribal cultures over 3 ancient sessions lasting greater than a century--the conventional earlier, the farming part while Indians have been pressured onto the reservation, and the twentieth-century business current. Ackerman examines gender equality when it comes to strength, authority, and autonomy in 4 social spheres: financial, family, political, and spiritual.
Although early explorers and anthropologists famous remoted cases of gender equality between Plateau Indians, ''A priceless Balance'' is the 1st book-length exam of a tradition that has practiced such equality from its early days of searching and amassing to the current day. Ackerman’s findings additionally relate to an exam of ecu and American cultures, calling into query the present assumption that gender equality ceases to be attainable with the arrival of industrialization.
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Additional resources for A Necessary Balance: Gender and Power Among Indians of the Columbia Plateau
Few economic activities were pursued during the winter. The bulk of the food during this period came from stores accumulated during the rest of the year, though a little hunting was done to relieve the monotony of dried foods. The winter was a time to hold the Guardian Spirit Dances, ceremonies attended not only by local residents but by people from nearby villages (Ray 1932:2 8). The Sanpoil, Nespelem, and Southern Okanogan bands or tribes are among those that live on the Colville Reservation today.
General digging could then proceed without further ritual. A similar ceremony was held with the ripening of each important crop (Ray 1932:97), the purpose being to ensure that the harvest would be good that year. A contemporary First Roots Ceremony,which somewhat deviatesfrom Ray’s description, is described in chapter 4. When a very large quantity was collected, a circular pit was dug two and one-half feet deep. Four to five flat stones were placed on the bottom of the pit, followed by a large amount of dry fir-wood and then a quantity of small stones.
The winter was a time to hold the Guardian Spirit Dances, ceremonies attended not only by local residents but by people from nearby villages (Ray 1932:2 8). The Sanpoil, Nespelem, and Southern Okanogan bands or tribes are among those that live on the Colville Reservation today. In the past, while they still followed what presumably was their aboriginal annual round, they left their winter villages around April to go to their fishing camps and root digging grounds (Post 1938:11). This was not a mass movement of the entire village.