Native American Women In 17th Century America

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During 17th century America many French traders who resided in Louisiana would spend long periods of time working with and selling to Native Americans. This would then lead to the marriage of many French men and Native American women. Though there were similarities between the two cultures, the amount of differences outweighed the commonalities. Variation between the two included views on religion, premarital sex, and complexion of skin. French leaders felt these differences greatly harmed French culture and would lead to the downfall of the French colony. French leaders created rules, regulations, and stereotypes in order to make Native American women appear less appealing in order to prevent such marriages from happening. The French did such acts because they found it was “fundamental the regulation of sex and marriage was to establishing a successful colony” (Reis, 58).
The major similarity between both French men and Native women was their
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The French did not like that Native women wore such little clothing. Reis states that, “European commentators could not separate their representation of a woman’s nudity and sexual behavior” (62). To the French, however a women represented herself was an influence of how she acted sexually. Native women were knowing to participate in divorce and have female sexual independence. This conception was made based off of their clothing and how they presented their bodies. Due to this French man began to favor more Christianized looking women because they knew their marriage would be stable and their wives would not act promiscuously. Part of why the French felt this way is because a stereotype was created that lighter complexion Native women were better to marry. This conception was based off of the idea that they looked more European and would as a result, act in a more Christian manner and not participate in the same activities as the tan/reddish Native
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