A morphological male who has a nonmasculine character.
More accurate characterization is androgyny

They serve a mediating function between women and men, precisely because their character is seen as distinct from either sex.

Some culture Berdache Tradition become a wife to a man

Not deviant

they form to the requirements of a custom in which their culture tells them to fit.

This cultural institution confirms their legitimacy for what they are.

Sanctify them instead of threatening them.

Berdaches role as mediator is thus not just between women and men, but also between physical and the spiritual.

Acceptance of gender variation in the berdache tradition is typical of many cultures' approach to life in general.

Berdachism established in 4 areas
1. The Prairie and western Great Lakes , the northern and central Plains, and the lower Mississippi Valley

2. Florida and Caribbean

3. Southwest, the Great Basin , and California

4. Scattered areas of the Northwest, western Canada, and Alaska.

of the Southwest, the bearer of plant seeds and the introducer of Karmia culture was a man-woman spirit named Warharmi.
Zuni creation pg 128
battle between the kachina spirits of the agricultural Zunis and the enemy hunter spirits.
Every 4 years commemorates this myth.
In the story, a kachina spirit is called ko'lhamana is captured by the enemy spirit and transformed into the process.

Become a mediator between two sides using his peacemaking skills to merge the differing lifestyles of hunters and farmers.

Zuni word for berdache is lhamana, denoting

The Pimas
did not respect a berdache status
Wi-kovat-like a girl, did not recognized a social role
Male androgyny as due to Papago witchcraft
Papago respected berdaches, but Papago blamed such an occurence on an alien influence.
Navajos pg 128
Presents women and men as equal.
irst Man and First Woman were the first two people, who were created equally and at the same time.

The first two worlds was bleak and unhappy so they escaped to the third world

The third world, Turquoise and White Shell Girl were the first berdaches.

Berddache is a nadle, which means "changing one" or "one who is transformed"

Together they shaped axes and grinding stones from rocks, and hoes from bone. All these new inventions made the people very happy until a great flood began.

The people ran to the high mountaintop.

Turquoise found a large reed. They climbed inside the tall hollow reed, and came out at the top into the fourth world.

From there, Shell Girl brough another reed, and climbed again into the the 5th world, which presented the Navajo world.

These stories the survival of humanity is dependent on the inventiveness of berdaches.

A spiritual explanation guaranteed a special place for a person who was considered different but not deviant

Lakota religion
Wakan Tanka is often translated as "god." But a more proper translation, according to the medicine people is "The Great Mystery"
is on spiritual nature of all things.
everything exists is spiritual

everything that exists has a purpose

Most important category is gender. Woman with their nutural qualities, are associated with the earth, while men are associated with the sky.
Women gatherers and farmers deal with plants(of the earth), while men hunters deal with animals.

Spiritual essence is crucial thing

Apraphos of the Plains
berdaches are called haxu'xan and are seen to be the way as a result of a supernatural gift from birds and animals.

Accounts the first story of Nih'a'ca the fist haxu'xan

He pretended to be a woman and married the mountain lion, a symbol of masculinity.

had natural desire to become a woman.
A person's desire- one's spirit

They had miraculous power and could do supernatural things.

made an intoxicant from rainwater

Mandan myth
Indian tried to force mihdake (berdaches) to give up their distinctive dress and status, which led the spirits to punish many people with death. After that, no Mandans interfered with berdaches.
Mohave Shaman of the Colorado Valley.
Beraches were intended for a purpose.

"When the child was ten years old his relatives would begin discussing his strange ways. Some of them disliked it, but more intelligent began envisaging an initiation ceremony."

Alyha - his spirit- dance when listening to a song

yuman tribes of the Southwest pg 130
transformation is marked by social gathering
papago indians
acknowledged in childhood

tested the child if he had female pursuits

build a small brush enclosure.
Inside the enclosure, they placed a man's arrows and bows, and a woman's basket.

free choice on the part of the boy

Boy was acting out on his basic character.

supernatural dictate is the determining factor.