The Important Role of Native American Women

Native Americans’ Respect for Women Important in Tribal Culture

In many Native American cultures, women held prominent positions of power and respect within the society. They wore many hats including mother, builder, warrior, farmer, craftswomen, and more.

Some tribes gave women the responsibility of gathering materials for home building. They built new houses from the ground up, and helped to maintain current ones by doing roof repairs and other maintenance tasks.

Women in certain tribes also had the task of hunting buffalo. When the buffalo was ready to be handled, the women were responsible for skinning, cutting and cooking the animal. Tool making was another common task for women, and this was usually done with animal bones. Additional duties for women included the gathering of firewood, cooking and the repairing of clothes.

Medicine women were also essential to the spiritual, social and cultural structure of Native American‘ tribes. In fact, they were believed to have more healing power than their male counterparts. Their songs and chants offered to the spirit world were perceived to have a stronger impact that could soothe and heal sickened souls and bodies.

Native American women could also be found crafting beautiful blankets, baskets, jewelry and pottery. They enjoyed mutual respect with their husbands and were often treated like equals, instead of inferiors to men. In keeping with this strong tradition of honoring and respecting women, Contemporary Native American art by artists like John Nieto depict bright, bold, and vibrant portraits of women. 

Dignity on Display in John Nieto Paintings of Women

John Nieto Paintings like Camille and Turquoise Earring 2 give dignified portrayals of women, casting light on the revered role they held in many traditional Native American tribes. John Nieto’s paintings aim to illuminate the historical richness and dignity of the Native American culture. To see contemporary paintings of other Native American themes, check out John Nieto’s online gallery today. Contact the gallery by sending a message from our contact page or by calling (415) 347-8173.