The Way Of The Two Spirited People
The two-spirited person is a native tradition the existence of cross-gender roles, the male-female, the female-male, what we now call the two-spirited person.
Our Elders tell us of people who were gifted among all beings because
they carried two spirits, that of male and female. It is told that women
engaged in tribal warfare and married other women, as there were men who married other men.
These individuals were looked upon as a third and
fourth gender in many cases and in almost all cultures they were
honored and revered. Two-spirit people were often the visionaries, the
healers, the medicine people, the nannies of orphans, the care givers.
This is the heart of Two-Spirited People of the the past of two-spirit people, the term two-spirit refers to the concepts of gender variant people in Native America traditions.
Most tribes were aware of the existence of two-spirit people, and many
still have a name in their traditional language for them.
For example, Ojibwa: Anishinaabemowin or niizh manidoowag
ikwekaazo, "Men who chose to function as women...One who endeavors to be like a woman."
ininiikaazo, "Women who functioned as men...one who endeavors to be like a man.
Cree: napêw iskwêwisêhot (nu-PAYO ihs-gwayo-WIH-say-hoht), a man who dresses as a woman
iskwêw ka napêwayat (ihs-GWAYO ga nu-PAYO-wuh-yut), a woman dressed as a man
ayahkwêw (U-yuh-gwayo), a man dressed/living/accepted as a woman.
înahpîkasoht (ee-nuh-PEE-gu-soot), a woman dressed/living/accepted as a man.