The Identification of Third Gendered Peoples Using Osteological Analysis, and the Consequences of European Colonization for Native American Perceptions of the Third Gender Status

Laura Howard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

When examining a non-Western culture's relationship with gender the possibility that that culture departed from the traditional binary western framework should be more than a footnote of interest. Rather, that culture’s conception of gender should be central in all discussions of sexual difference within that culture. It is also important to recognise the impact of Eurocentric gender orders not simply on academic research, but on a culture’s own understanding of personal identity. This study aims to determine the utility of archaeological methods in identifying historical evidence of Two-Spirit people amongst Native American communities. This will be achieved through the analysis of osteological remains, funerary practices and grave goods. This study also examines the effects of European colonization on current perceptions of the Two-Spirit’s within Native American communities by collecting oral histories. These will then be compared to historical texts and the results of the funerary analysis, in order to gain an understanding of how gender systems have evolved since the pre-colonial era, and to evaluate the impact of colonization. This project aims to provide visibility and understanding of Two-Spirits in Native American communities, whilst questioning academic commitments to the western binary norms when researching these communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Research PGR Conference
Publication statusUnpublished - 7 Jul 2022

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