X hits on this document

PDF document

The Noble Savage Was a Drag Queen: Hybridity and Transformation in Kent Monkman's Performance and ... - page 12 / 19

107 views

0 shares

6 downloads

0 comments

12 / 19

because it reflects an Indigenous worldview and rejects the previous white/colonial term

of "berdache" which was used to describe traditional Native Two-Spirit individuals, and

the Arabic roots of which imply the meaning of male sodomized slave.20 As mentioned,

Monkman's use of performance is particularly suitable to relaying the Two-Spirit concept

of "undefinability," as the artist is able to utilize the masculine elements of his physique,

voice, and mannerisms, along with the hyper-feminine modus operandi of the drag

queen, in a physical incarnation not possible on canvas. Bhabha writes that freedom

exists in a decolonization of the imagined spaces created by colonizers and imperialists

and that those who are marginalized must create a "third space."21 Like the third gender,

the third space is a free zone that exists somewhere beyond the margins of definable

cultures or identities and their inherent limitations. This is the space occupied by the

hybrid Share, who, as trickster, cannot be defined or bound by time, sex, or geography.

The Suppression of Native Sexuality in Hegemonic North America

The diversity of Native sexuality in pre-colonized North America is seldom mentioned or

illustrated

in

mainstream

art

and

media,

although

we

know

that

it

existed.

In

her

groundbreaking anthropological work, Jacobs researched centuries of written documents

for references to the third gender or Two-Spirited people in Native North American

tribes. Out of 99 tribes, 88 referred to Two-Spirited culture, including both male and

female homosexuality or transgender. In 19th-century Europe, however, views towards

non-heterosexual practices were extremely different. Foucault writes that by this time:

Nothing that was not ordered in terms of generation or transfigured by it could expect sanction or protection. Nor did it merit a hearing. It would

20

Deschamps, 1998.

21

Bhabha, 1998:8.

12

Document info
Document views107
Page views113
Page last viewedFri Dec 02 22:21:52 UTC 2016
Pages19
Paragraphs635
Words5914

Comments