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Beyond Ainu StudiesChanging Academic and Public Perspectives$
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Mark J. Hudson, Ann-Elise Lewallen, and Mark K. Watson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780824836979

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824836979.001.0001

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The Gender of Cloth

The Gender of Cloth

Ainu Women and Cultural Revitalization

Chapter:
(p.171) 11 The Gender of Cloth
Source:
Beyond Ainu Studies
Author(s):

ann-elise lewallen

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824836979.003.0011

This chapter narrates the “quiet revolution” that emerged in private spaces shared between elderwomen and the younger generation. Ainu women in their mid-forties to early seventies began meeting to exchange traditional knowledge, including techniques for gathering medicinal herbs and wild plants, techniques for weaving with natural fibers, embroidery patterns, and song and dance. Older generation women could recall these activities as survival skills, and as ritual and celebratory activities. In mountainous areas across Ainu women, this private sphere knowledge was maintained and transmitted generationally. While Ainu men were pressured to assimilate to Wajin socioeconomic standards, Ainu women were entrusted with preserving cultural practices, such as producing material cultural objects for the domestic sphere.

Keywords:   quiet revolution, Ainu women, Wajin socioeconomic standards, cultural objects, medicinal herbs, embroidery patterns

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