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Lenape Women, Matriliny, and the Colonial Encounter-Resistance and Erosion of Power (c. 1600-1876)

An Excursus in Feminist Anthropology


Regula Trenkwalder-Schönenberger

Lenape gender relations are being analyzed during 300 years of colonization - a process of resistance as well as adaptation. The transformation of a matrilineal kinship organization and egalitarian gender relations into a male-dominated agricultural society is linked to the subjugation of the female gender. The erosion of female power is the result of colonial warfare, land loss, the attempts of traders, missionaries and government officials to create native male leaders and a male-centered society and ideology, and of changes in gender relations of production and reproduction.
Contents: Anthropology à partir des femmes - Towards a dynamic theory of matriliny and gender relations - The Lenni Lenape and the history of colonization - Lenape gender relations in the 17th and early 18th century - Lenape women and socio-economic change: resistance and erosion of power - Epilogue.