Native American Women Analysis

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“The first American women were Native American women” (Brown). This notion is often forgotten, even as early as the first European conquest of American lands. The invasion of the Europeans on the western end of the globe forever altered the original traditions of natives to the land. Bringing their religious culture across the sea, Europeans struggled to understand the way of life of the Native Americans, and resorted to view them as “savages” and inferior people. In particular, compared to European females, the American Indian women were tremendously different from the uniform in various aspects of life such as marriage and work. The line of division of authority between men and women were different in the two groups, and thus, there was …show more content…
Castañeda’s article exposes the cruelty experienced by the female natives of the Alta California territory, during the period of missionization. A hypocritical situation, the attempt convert the natives to Christianity resulted in countless assaults of innocent women by mission soldiers. Barbaric acts of soldiers included lassoing women off of horses and hiding them. Most native women resorted to hiding in their homes, and others planned and participated in attacks against the Spaniards. The structure of the political system was incapable of protecting the American Indian women: Cases, including rape, were to be decided in Mexico City after a lengthy process, and soldiers were simply advised to stay in the missions. In his own attempt to alter the system, Junipero Serra, father of missions, sent of list of recommendations to the Mexican viceroy, calling for the removal of certain military authorities and the grant of permanent citizenship to soldiers. The original plan to convert the natives and reshape gender norms failed, instead indirectly causing sexual violence and …show more content…
Unlike the European women, the female natives freely entered relationships without the consent of guardians or higher authority. They were not allowed to marry or sleep with anyone closely related. Women, in the natives’ point of view, were the subjects to persuasion, and therefore not blamed for adultery and allowed to have multiple partners in her lifetime. According to Lawson, a woman had a way of destroying her contraception and would be responsible for the child if she was to divorce her partner. Because of the difference in values, it was difficult for Europeans to understand the culture of native

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