Two Spirit People, film

The film two-spirit people consisted of many interviews with Native Americans and people who are focused on the anthropology of Native American peoples. This film focused on the Berdache. Two-Spirit is often the umbrella term used for many Native Americans that operate outside of typical gender norms. It was mentioned in the film that there genuinely is not translatable term for Two-Spirited people. There are tons of variations that try, and they vary throughout different tribes. When Native Americans were forced to begin speaking English, they were also forced to put a word to it. Different tribes created different terms, and with that there are tons of words that all mean different things, but still refer to the Berdache. It would be very general if I was to state that Two-Spirit peoples do not receive any criticism at all, but the film portrayed them to be very accepted, if not praised highly. Two-Spirit peoples can transcend both the physical and spiritual world into something higher. They have the ability to gain understanding in different forms of light. Both male and female, physical and spiritual. One specific person that was mentioned in the video, was We’Wha. This is one of the first individuals that was highly publicized as being Two-Spirit. Upon their burial, they were buried in traditional female garb, but with pants. We’Wha was also buried in the male side of the cemetery, showing that the community was accepting and cared greatly for We’Wha. Berdache, or Two-Spirit People, are often highly praised and adored, performing rituals for weddings and births. Their praise unto others is highly sought after.Partners of Berdache are not considered homosexual. Berdache can have both female and male partners, without any judgment on those partners. However, if two Berdache engage in intercourse, it is considered unnatural.

The film also focused greatly on homosexuals in Native American culture. There were a few different individuals interviewed in the film. It was stated that in larger terms, many homosexuals are accepted by their families. But as in every culture, there are stigmas and ties that are broken among the families with an individual comes out. Individuals are banished as often as they are accepted. There were a couple different people that were interviewed on the film. One was a proud member of a gay rights group for Native Americans.

Though the film was short, it was very educational to a culture that I didn’t entirely understand. I liked the personal interviews, but there are still gaps in the culture that would have made the film better if it went more in depth.


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