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ANAHITA  December 1999

ANAHITA December 1999

Subject:

Re: The Status of Pre-historic Women

From:

Allison Nies <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Thu, 30 Dec 1999 12:31:02 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (54 lines)

I agree with the points made by . . . Peter, I think (I
deleted his message).  In some foraging societies, women
may do most of the work and yet they have little status or
power.

And yet, I can think of an example where the opposite was
true.  The example I'm thinking of comes from the 5 nations
of native Americans in the north east (I can't think of all
their names, Iroqois, Algonquin?).  In these agricultural
societies, the senior women of the band chose the "Chief."
The word "chief" was corrupted by the Europeans who assumed
that the chief meant the same thing as king, like a monarch
from Europe who had absolute control of members of the group.
Not so in native American society.  The chief was the "main
speaker" or head spokes person.  And their society was
matri-lineal.  The women owned the land.

Now the question is:  how many times have archaeologists
assumed that the male chief, the one with the most grave
goods, is a "king-like" ruler?  Don't they make this
assumption all the time?  Perhaps the senior women elected
him!  Without written records, how would we know this?
We can't.  We only know about the Iroquois because a few
Europeans recorded their observations about these indigenous
peoples.

Anthropologists and archaeologists make assumptions all the
time.  Are they as tough on themselves as they are on feminists
and novel writers like those mentioned in this discussion?
I think not.  But they do want to "extinguish" all discussion
about matriarchy, egalitarian societies, or any theory or model
which gives women a more important role in the history of
the human race.

Allison Nies
[log in to unmask]

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