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Publication Date

8-2002

Abstract

Indigenous social role categories that represent third and fourth gender characteristics, such as the Lakota (Sioux) winkte and the Dino (Navajo) n and other Native terms, mark the status of these individuals. However, they are often blanketed by the term, berdache, in social science literature. Contextualization in an ethnographic frame is essential to greater comprehension of these roles. A critical review of contemporary research and the writings of the Native occupants of these categories has resulted in an all encompassing term: "Two Spirits." Coterminously, Native terms for lesbians are also emerging. However, all Native gay males and lesbians have not accepted the term. This article discusses the concerns of indigenous researchers and others or non-indigenous researchers in this discourse.

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