7554 words in 32 dialects and counting.
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Western Dialect / Glossary

United States of America [US]

The dialect of the old West

    Word: berdache




    An Indian male who dressed and lived entirely as a woman fulfiling that cultural role within the tribe. Sometimes called in Indian languages a would be woman and sometimes thought of as a third sex. Common among the tribes of the Americas these men-women had social and religious powers. They might be givers of sacred names; first to strike the sun-dance pole; leaders of scalp dances; good luck to war parties; visionaries and predictors of the future; matchmakers; excellent artisans in beadwork quillwork hide-tanning and making clothing; creators and singers of songs. Understood as following a vision by most Indians they were not tolerated by whites. They persist today discreetly.

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