Title

Masculinity in the Eighteenth-Century Moravian Mission Field:: Contact and Negotiation

Publication Date

Spring 2013

Journal

Journal of Moravian History

Volume

13

Issue

1

First Page

27

Last Page

53

Abstract

Building on earlier work on the history of Moravian masculinity in the more urban centers of Euro-American activity and moving the focus of scrutiny to the mission field of Pennsylvania, this essay asks how the change of place and environment, both natural and cultural, might affect the notions and practices of Moravian masculinity. Through an examination of passages from the Shamokin mission diary, written between 1745 and 1755, the essay suggests that the place and ethos of Moravian life, even as it was conducted in a small mission deep in the backcountry, also revealed gender norms and behaviors that adhered not only to those of colonial Euro-Americans but also resonated with the practices and norms of masculinity found within the Native American cultures with which the Moravians interacted. The combination of Sifting Period language, bridal mysticism, and a stress on the visual provides Moravians and Native American people in the mid-century with more commonalities in the practices of masculinity than were later assumed in the New Republic.

DOI

DOI: 10.5325/jmorahist.13.1.0027

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