This new edition of Women in Ancient America draws on recent advances in the archaeology of gender to reexamine the activities, roles, and relationships of women in the prehistoric Native societies of North, Central, and South America.
Women—and women’s work—have been crucial to the survival and success of American peoples since ancient times. And as hunting and foraging societies developed farming techniques and eventually created permanent settlements, women’s roles changed. Karen Olsen Bruhns and Karen E. Stothert consider the various economic adaptations that followed, as well as the ways in which women participated in food production and the specialized industries of their societies. They also look at women’s access to power, both political and religious, paying particular attention to the place of priestesses and goddesses in the spiritual life of ancient peoples.
The narrative that unfolds in Women in Ancient America is based on the most recent research, using evidence and examples from a wide range of cultures dating from the Paleoindian period to European invasion. This book, unlike others, treats many different types of societies, as the authors develop arguments sure to provoke thinking about the lives of women who inhabited the Americas in the distant past.