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Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1835

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  237 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Theda Perdue examines the roles and responsibilities of Cherokee women during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a time of intense cultural change. While building on the research of earlier historians, she develops a uniquely complex view of the effects of contact on Native gender relations, arguing that Cherokee conceptions of gender persisted long after contact. ...more
Paperback, 254 pages
Published August 1st 1999 by Bison Books (first published 1998)
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Connie Lacy
Full of insights into the lives of Cherokee women, and, by extension, Cherokee men and children as well. Fascinating that women in the Cherokee Nation, prior to the meddling and devastation inflicted by white settlers and the US government, had so much power and prestige. Wonderful book. Highly recommended for anyone interested in women's issues, Cherokee Indians and Native Americans, in general.

Ami Sahl Nicholson
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Cherokee Women: Gender and Culture Change, 1700-1835, written by Theda Perdue, offers a detailed explanative chronology of the events that served to create a substantial shift in the gender roles of the Cherokee between the years of 1700 and 1835. Focusing on changes in culture, Perdue illustrates how the appearance of European traders and missionaries led to an almost complete reversal in the traditional roles held by the Cherokee, and how those changes affected the financial, family, and ...more
Brian
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Thea Perdue adds an excellent addition to the Indians of the Southeast series by giving a new perspective on the role of women in Cherokee society. There are very few books that assess how women were affected by European invaders in a traditional society. The women existed in a matrilineal world where they controlled trade and social functions which are retold expertly here. Perdue recounts how war, diplomacy, and economics changed the roles of women and how the European viewpoints were ...more
Feritgrrl
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Excellent study. This book had been recommended to me for years, and I finally got copy. I am very glad I did- and wish I had read it years ago. My only criticisms are that it is repetitive- as many others have noted. And I wish that Perdue had included a bit more initial biographical summary of some of the women(and their experiences) that she refers to repeatedly. She tends to only reference glancingly the event or action the woman or women in question have done, but clearly expects the reader ...more
Sydney Robertson
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Theda Perdue is absolutely brilliant. This book is a stunning exploration of an under-examined society. I wish that I had more background on Native American culture because she has sparked such a curiosity in my brain for more, and I don't know where to start. Perdue writes incredibly long sentences, but they are full of amazing and valuable information (so long as you can keep track of what she's saying). Her use of source material is seamless and I have added many other things to my primary ...more
Sarah
Oct 17, 2011 rated it liked it
It's a 3.5 for me. I read it for class, or I wouldn't have read it at all, but for a school book it was pretty decent. It was interesting and well-researched, although it could be a bit repetitive in parts. The author had a point of view and a thesis, but she also talked about exceptions to her thesis and addressed all parts of Cherokee female experience.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend it for pleasure reading, but if you're looking for research resources on this topic, this might be a good one
...more
Wendy
Mar 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
This was an alright book. It was interesting, though very repetitive in parts. It read very much like a textbook. I appreciated that is focused very much on the roles of gender in Cherokee society and included male gender roles as well. It even explored the exceptions to typical roles. While it was a bit "dry" in some area, I'm glad I read it.
Theresa
Feb 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was very interesting to learn so much about Cherokee culture. The way that Cherokee women lived is so different from how women live today and it interesting to think about how European conquest changed their lives so drastically.
Michelle Boyer-Kelly
One of the go to sources for Cherokee information. While it is not the only reading that I recommend, it is one that is written in a voice that will keep the pages turning. My poor copy is written in, has highlighter in all colors, post it notes, etc. -- worth a read.
Margot Fallen
May 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
An astounding look at a culture of strong women and non-oppressive female gender roles. Cherokee culture and the affect of colonization.
Ansley
Dec 29, 2007 marked it as to-read
I haven't read this wet but I am related to Nancy Ward in this book.
AskHistorians
Emphasizes all Cherokee women, not just prominent ones, in her history of the Cherokee.
Jessica
Oct 07, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommended to Jessica by: school required
Interesting and a nice easy read. Pretty short for a history book as well.
Sue
May 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history
The time frame selected allows Perdue to demonstrate changes in roles and status before and after white intervention. She not only looks at gender, but also class status within the community.
Rose Klix
Jun 22, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a very indepth presentation about the Cherokee Women. It will serve well as a reference book.
secondwomn
Sep 12, 2008 rated it liked it
really comprehensive, well-researched overview of the role of women in cherokee society dating from the contact with European society through removal.
Richard
Jul 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing


For a number of reasons this book is a stellar example of what one would like to see in a scholarly approach to history. First, the author based it on an extensive review of primary and secondary sources. These were frequently and clearly noted in the text and also well described in the footnotes section of the book. Some of the primary sources included reports and correspondence of the missionaries living and working with the Cherokees in the 18th and 19th centuries. Other primary sources were
...more
Stephanie G. Lewis
Knowledge is power

This book is so worthwhile! A story of a people by their descendants, not those who sought to remove them from the Earth. I am a daughter Selu. I will learn more about her.
Earlene Emerson
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