Highlighting the role of precontact Indigenous women in building and transforming Mississippian culture
“An eye-opening dive into the lives, contributions, and power of Indigenous women through a myriad of archaeological methods.”—Christina Friberg, author of The Making of Mississippian Tradition
“A welcome and overdue volume for Mississippian archaeology. It will no doubt be useful for Mississippian archaeologists as well as for those interested in gender in past contexts.”—B. Jacob Skousen, coeditor of Tracing the Relational: The Archaeology of Worlds, Spirits, and Temporalities
This volume highlights how women were powerful farmers, economic decision-makers, spiritual leaders, and agents of social integration in the diverse societies of the Mississippian world, which spanned the present-day United States South to the Midwest before the seventeenth century. While Mississippian societies are some of the most well-researched pre-European contact societies on the continent, little attention has been dedicated specifically to Mississippian women. These chapters offer new insights into the vital role women played within their communities, an approach directly informed by the powerful position of American Indian women within contemporary American Indian communities.
Contributors examine themes such as identity, labor, grieving, cooking, craft production, spatial organization, prestige, morbidity, kinship, and fertility. Case studies include sites throughout the Mississippian world, ranging from Illinois to Florida, including Cahokia and Moundville. Mississippian Women is the first volume to focus solely on the political, social, and economic power of women during this period, linking their actions in building their culture before European colonialism with the work of Indigenous women in the region today.
Rachel V. Briggs is teaching assistant professor of anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Michaelyn S. Harle is an archaeologist at the Tennessee Valley Authority. Lynne P. Sullivan, curator emerita of archaeology at the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture at the University of Tennessee, is coeditor of Grit-Tempered: Early Women Archaeologists in the Southeastern United States.
Contributors: Shelia Bird | Rachel V. Briggs | Michaelyn S. Harle | Ramie A. Gougeon | Maureen Meyers | Robert B. Sharpe | Tracy K. Betsinger | Jennifer Bengtson | Christopher B. Rodning | Robin A. Beck | Gayle J. Fritz | Lynne P. Sullivan | Nancy Marie White | Toni Alexander | Heather A. Lapham | David G. Moore
A volume in the Florida Museum of Natural History: Ripley P. Bullen Series
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