Cherokee Women Summary

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Theda Perdue`s Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1835, is a book that greatly depicts what life had been like for many Native Americans as they were under European Conquering. This book was published in 1998, Perdue was influenced by a Cherokee Stomp Dance in northeastern Oklahoma. She had admired the Cherokee society construction of gender which she used as the subject of this book. Though the title Cherokee Women infers that the book focuses on the lives of only Cherokee women, Perdue actually shines light upon the way women 's roles affected the Native cultures and Cherokee-American relations. In the book, there is a focus on the way that gender roles affected the way different tribes were run in the 1700 and 1800`s. Native…show more content…
It is very interesting to see how almost everything that Cherokee people knew as a norm differed as they became more in touch with global trade and European powers. Perdue began the second part of the book addressing how the European trades and trips to the Cherokee society had quickly used hunting and war to place men above women. Men in the Cherokee remained hunters who had provided deerskin, which had became a source of currency once they began to trade throughout the world. As Euro-Americans became more common, more of their beliefs of gender balance was spread throughout societies. The Euro-Americans felt as if women should remain subservient to men. The different settlers in America had continued to down women as a gender, and make males more superior. As Perdue continues, she addresses how the power that Cherokee women held had began to plummet the more they were involved with Europeans. However, today there are still Cherokee women that stand strong, hold positions of power, and even are still respected as if it was the 18th…show more content…
One thing Perdue could have done to have taken this book to the next level, is include more insight from specific Cherokee women. With their insights, it would have given more of a direct insight as to actual stories making the book more interesting. If she had included more examples of Cherokee women today and how they demonstrated strength this book could have been better. Also, Perdue’s analysis reveals the burden of her politics. It is evident that at times she uses communitarian and the female centric nature of Cherokee society to criticize modern American gender relations and society. This is bad because it goes against what Native peoples want and would have wanted. In all, in some parts of the text Perdue either was a bit harsh or at other times did not give enough insight but still endured that the book was successful.
Cherokee Women in all is a powerful and useful book to many different people for many different reasons. Basing her analysis on gender, Perdue provides insights on Native Americans and gender that would not be emphasized in different studies. The fact that her book is based on gender, allows for the book to differ from many others, making this book very
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