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People berdaches and left handed bears human variation in native america



People berdaches and left handed bears human variation in native america



Journal of Anthropological Research 38(3): 274-287



The native cultures of North America recognize a bewilderingly large range of humanoid beings, only some of whom are human. Focusing on 4 widely scattered tribes (Nootka, Keres, Kootenay, Winnebago) with examples from several other (Blackfeet, Pomo, Ojibwa, Tsimshian, Lenape Delaware), the mediating role played by berdaches, bears and others in these cultures is examined. Consideration is also given to variations in the psychological, categorical and symbolic aspects of gender and of the culture/nature continuum.

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