Tuesday, March 3, 2020

This Week's Word: BERDACHE #Ebooks #Sexuality

Welcome to This Week's Word again! The word for this week is:


For me, finding this word was a treasure! For one, I write books about Native Americans and even referred to a Berdache in my book Dark Night of the Moon. 

During historical research, I knew there were gay individuals among the tribes, and also lesbians. The Native Americans, for the most part, accepted these people for who they were, although sometimes they were ridiculed. Every tribe had gay and lesbians among their people, and every tribe had a name for these types of individuals. See below, the Cheyenne word for a Berdache was hetaneman). The picture above is a Berdache from the Zuni tribe taken in 1879. Her/his name was Whe-Wa. You can find more pictures of Berdache Native Americans by Googling the word.

Second, I also write Gay Fiction. I guess you'd call that a two-fer when it comes to the word Berdache. 

Here's a little history about the word:

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, French explorers, traders, and missionaries in the Mississippi Valley occasionally encountered Native Americans who could not be classified as either a man or a woman. They called such individuals Berdaches (a French term for younger partners in male homosexual relationships). 

Plains Indian Berdaches are best described as occupying an alternative or third gender role in which traits of men and women are combined with those unique to Berdache status. Male Berdaches did women's work, cross-dressed or combined male and female clothing in their daily attire. They also formed relationships with non-berdache men.

Plains Indian women often engaged in hunting and warfare, but a female role equivalent to that of male Berdaches, although common west of the Rockies, has been documented in the Plains only among the Cheyenne (the Cheyenne word for this was hetaneman). Even so, some Plains Indian women became notable warriors and leaders and behaved much like Berdaches. In the early nineteenth century, Running Eagle of the Piegans wore male clothing on war parties, while Woman Chief of the Crows had four wives.

Update: In the 1990s the term "two-spirit" was introduced by Native Americans as an alternative word to Berdache, and traditional third gender roles became the subject of renewed interest among Natives and non-Natives alike.

Further Reading about sexuality of the Plains Indians: Williams, Walter L. The Spirit and the Flesh: Sexual Diversity in American Indian Culture. Boston: Beacon Press, 1986.

I'm promoting my gay fiction romance The Sin Eater's Prince this week. No, there are no Berdaches in the novel. On the contrary, the men in this book, while gay, are lethal vampires. Very lethal vampires!

About The Sin Eater's Prince:

Andras Maddock, the physician of a small village in Wales, has secretly loved Owen, the Sin Eater for years. The villagers fear Owen for the sins he’s consumed from the dead, and for this, everyone shuns him. Owen is stunned when Andras saves him from a violent death at the hands of a vampire one night and wonders how the well-respected physician acquired supernatural powers?

Dagan, Dark Lord of the Underworld, vows to take the mystic sword from Andras, a weapon that allows his vampire horde to wreak their diabolical havoc in sunlight. Dagan will do anything to avenge his father’s death and has sworn to make the Sin Eater his slave.

Forbidden love, sorcery, ancient myth and lore collide on a vengeful path between good and evil, darkness and light. Only one side will win.  

A stand-alone homoerotic full-length novel with suspense, werewolves and sorcery.

“This man-love story is electric, full of ancient folk lore as well as werewolves & even dragons!”

“I absolutely loved this story. My fave character was Carys. She's my kind of chick. This read had another great take on vamps and a fresh world to play in. You won't be disappointed with Ms. Diablo's satisfyingly dark tale of vampires, creatures of the soul and other paranormal myths. A definite must read!”

“Truly remarkable and very detailed writing. The dialogue very smooth and well done and the growth of the characters simply outstanding. I really loved this piece and I have to say, when  Diablo wants your attention, she gets it. And the sex? Yep. The author did it again.”


1 comment:

Lisabet Sarai said...

Wow. This sounds like a great read.

Hope it does really well.