Oglala Women Myth Ritual And Reality Summary

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In Oglala Women, Myth, Ritual and Reality, Marla Powers portraits a powerful Native American community- Oglala, one of the main tribes of the Lakota (allied people) alliance located on the Oglala Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. They are known for being one of the biggest reservations in the United States who won the war in 1868 against the United States. In this book, Powers focuses on the women’s role within their community and how their sacred traditions and religion shaped their culture. Therefore, by using various readings on Lakota practices, this paper will examine the gender roles in Oglala culture in terms of marriage, religion and the effect that Americanization and Christianity have had on their culture and how they compare…show more content…
A man would just simply have to approach the drum, hit it and throw the drumsticks over his shoulder to signal that his marriage was over. A woman would pack his belongings and leave them by the front door and her husband would not have a choice but to leave. Either decision could not be contested by their counterpart. However, there were several interesting variations of these gender roles, depending on family wealth. If a man came from a wealthy family, he had the chance to have several wives. However, they all had to have their own household or “tipi.” The woman would never be left unprotected regardless of the husband’s death or infidelity. If the husband died, his wife had a choice of remarrying the husband’s brother whereas, if the woman divorced her husband, she will be taken care of by her family and he would lose his position in the clan. As expressed by Young (2002), male dominance was not present in the Lakota society, both genders had complimentary roles within their community and both were considered equally important. While woman were the caretakers, they did not think of themselves less than their husband’s counterpart who had to hunt to support his family and protect them against other

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