"Indians used gender metaphors in a variety of international situations. One common gender metaphor was to insult enemies by calling them women. Gendered taunts at enemies selected one aspect of gender, sexuality, for a certain purpose: to assert dominance. But gender metaphors could also tie nations together as allies, such as when the Iroquois made “women” of the Delawares…The Iroquois and Delawares had formed an ancient alliance in which “one nation should be the woman.” The other male nations would surround the woman and protect her. If anyone hurt the woman, the men would rise to her defense…While encouraging the Delawares to assume the role of peace advocate, the Iroquois speaker dressed the Delaware delegates in women’s clothes and handed them a “corn pestle and hoe,” implements symbolizing women’s work in both Delaware and Iroquois societies."

—Shoemaker, Nancy. “Gender and Kinship Terms in Anglo-Indian Diplomacy.” Compiled by Karen Kupperman in “Major Problems in American Colonial History.” 1999. 

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