This book examines the critical and often undervalued contributions of women to the culture, well-being, and subsistence of their communities as active, powerful, and wise ritual specialists.
From the Dalit midwives in India to the women of the Nahua region in the state of Morelos, Mexico, from the indigenous nations in Turtle Island in Canada to the shamans (male and female) of South Korea and Vietnam, there are still many vital indigenous cultures around the world in which women often hold positions of religious authority and leadership.
Women and Indigenous Religions addresses specific issues in the study of religion, such as the multifaceted tensions between indigenous traditions and gender and the genealogy of positions of authority in religion or spiritual matters. A close examination reveals that native religions, with their women specialists, are still a source of inspiration for millions of men and women even in the "advanced" areas in the world. This fact challenges the opinion that indigenous cultures are becoming extinct.