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The Woman Who Turned Into a Jaguar, and Other Narratives of Native Women in Archives of Colonial Mexico$
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Lisa Sousa

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780804756402

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804756402.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM STANFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.stanford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Stanford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in SSO for personal use.date: 18 April 2021

Gender and the Body

Gender and the Body

(p.19) Chapter Two Gender and the Body
The Woman Who Turned Into a Jaguar, and Other Narratives of Native Women in Archives of Colonial Mexico

Lisa Sousa

Stanford University Press

Chapter 2 draws on theories of the body, gender performativity, and dress, to show how gender was inscribed on the body to create the appearance of difference, which, in turn, shaped all social relations. The chapter analyzes aspects of indigenous gender ideology and concepts of the body as expressed in life-cycle rituals, native-language metaphors and terminology, and beliefs pertaining to the calendar, tonalism, and nahualism. The chapter argues that concepts concerning the fluidity of the body and gender identity undermined essentializing ideologies. The work examines the construction of gender through labor, drawing on Nahua and Bènizàa rituals as two central case studies. The chapter also considers clothing and adornment and speech and behavior, which served as mechanisms to stabilize the body and impose identity. Chapter 2 concludes with a discussion of cross-gendering which occurred when individuals adopted the dress, labor roles, and mannerisms of the “opposite sex.”

Keywords:   gender ideology, complementarity, parallelism, cross-dressing, ritual, dress, gendered division of labor

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