Post by haaestohose on Aug 15, 2013 22:59:44 GMT -5
I am writing a western novel and I found that this man's photo presents the germ of an idea for an interesting character, but I would like some insight on the real person, if possible.
I know he was a scout for the US Army, but would it be correct to assume he was also a Berdache? Would a Berdache perform a masculine associated job such as scouting?
I am guessing Rabbit Tail was a Berdache for several reasons. 1. His name is somewhat feminine. 2. While not actually women's styles, His hair, jewelry and clothing seem more feminized than that of other Shoshone men of this period. 3. He is holding a trade mirror, an implement associated with women, rather than a weapon or pipe or other masculine article.
Of course, I could be wrong and maybe he was just a Native dandy or "fop". He obviously spent a great deal of time on his appearance.
I would be very, very careful in such interpretations without actual knowledge of the culture in question. Chances are that neither of your suggestions are even close to correct, though I know almost nothing about the Shoshone myself. Generally, such questions would have a better chance to get answered on the other board. And I would suggest to at least try to aquire a basic understanding of the culture your character is supposed to originate from, if you care about historical accuracy. It might be difficult to find some accessible material that isn't to distorting, though. Dr. Kavanagh, who is one of the most knowledgable persons on the (very closely related) Comanche is active over on the other board, he might be able to point you in the right direction.
I wouldn't make any assumptions about this guy on the basis of holding a mirror because the warriors were known to be very vain too. Another thing is that these photos were all set up by the photographer.