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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article reviews evidence for the rising importance of bison hunting, bison hide processing, and interregional exchange along the western margins of the Southern Plains in the period after AD 1450. It also summarizes ceramic evidence for the presence of nonlocal, especially Southwestern Pueblo, women living among various nomadic and seminomadic bison-hunting groups in what is now the Texas Panhandle and western Oklahoma. The article also presents tentative evidence for a shift in the status of Southern Plains women, as marked by their apparently diminished access to exotic raw materials and ornaments. It argues that, during the protohistoric period, restructuring of the gendered division of labor and context of production and exchange, in conjunction with the presence of nonlocal women as new social actors, disrupted local women's traditional social networks and arenas of social action, and had a significant impact on the role and status of women on the Southern Plains.

Keywords: protohistoric period, seminomads, bison-hunting groups, bison hide processing, Southern Plains, social action

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