Honigmann's "Male and female homosexuality," 1964

"Both male and female homosexuality"

In his 1964 book, The Kaska Indians: An Ethnographic Reconstruction, Honigmann writes on Native lesbianism:

Female homosexuals simulated copulation by "getting on top of each other." Such women were often transvestites, but no male transvestites could be recalled. Sometimes if a couple had too many female children and desired a son to hunt for them in later years, they selected a daughter to be "like a man." When she was about five years old the parents tied the dried ovaries of a bear to her inner belt. She wore this amulet for the rest of her life in order to avoid conception.

The girl was raised as a boy. She dressed in masculine attire and performed male allocated tasks, often developing great strength and usually becoming an outstanding hunter. She screamed and broke the bow and arrows of any boy who made sexual advances to her. "She knows that if he gets her then her luck with game will be broken." Apparently such a girl entered homosexual relationships.

Among the Dease River Kaska it is reported:

Berdaches were unknown but the informant agreed that both male and female homosexuality sometimes occurred. Homosexual men engaged in sodomy, oral contacts being carefully avoided. Two women achieved orgasm through clitoral friction.[1]


Jonathan Ned Katz, Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A. (NY: Crowell, 1976) pg. 327.

  1. J. J. Honigmann, "The Kaska Indians: An Ethnographic Reconstruction," Yale University Publications in Anthropology, no. 51 (New Haven: Yale University Publications, 1964), p. 129-30. Notes omitted.