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Mysteries of SexTracing Women and Men through American History$
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Mary P. Ryan

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780807830628

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807876688_ryan

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Where Have the Corn Mothers Gone?

Where Have the Corn Mothers Gone?

Americans Encounter the Europeans

(p.21) Chapter 1 Where Have the Corn Mothers Gone?
Mysteries of Sex

Mary P. Ryan

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes how the coordinates of gender differentiation—asymmetry, the relations of the sexes, and hierarchy—were performed in various ways across the wide landscape of North America five hundred years ago. Focusing on pre-Columbian Indian tribes that developed complex societies, it analyzes the differentiation of male and female and the ease of lateral transfer between their roles within Native American cultures. In pursuit of the question “Where Have the Corn Mothers Gone,” the chapter puts the history of gender into play to explain the outcome of the collision between Amerindian cultures and European colonizers.

Keywords:   gender differentiation, asymmetry, sexes, hierarchy, North America, Indian tribes, Native American cultures

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