Historically, men and women of Northeast Woodlands societies played mutually supportive and varied roles. Generally speaking, men were responsible for hunting, building shelters, and making tools. They conducted trade with other tribes, negotiated, and fought when disputes arose. Women were responsible for gathering and growing food, preparing hides, and making clothing, pottery, and baskets. They had a larger role in the care of children. Although men were often responsible for affairs that occurred in the public sphere, women were instrumental in placing men in positions of power and provided advice and guidance. 

Children learned these roles and responsibilities from a young age, both by observing and helping their elders and through play. Woodlands cultures treasured children and made many beautiful objects to hold, clothe, instruct, and entertain them.

Today, native men and women occupy varied roles in society. Many take seriously their responsibility to pass traditional knowledge and identity down to their children. 


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