Family roles were very structured and followed very closely

Mr. Lawrence talks about historical Dakota social structure.

Audio Chapters

But in those days we were still part of the old culture where the family roles were very structured and followed very closely. People were used to doing things that way for centuries. And one of them was that the male was the provider and the protector, and the women had their role as the ones who maintained the camp life. Most of the domestic chores were her responsibility. And that caused a lot of confusion for people who didn’t understand that because they always looked at the men who had come back from two or three weeks of hunting and were exhausted and probably starved, and see them laying around camp for three or four days, doing nothing, and then the women doing all the work, and they would tell them: why don’t you get your man up here to do something—you got some lazy men. The women would just laugh about it because they knew they didn’t understand and there was no way of explaining it to them. But that was kind of how it was.

Oral History- Interview | Narrator Elden Lawrence Interviewer Deborah Locke made in New Ulm, MN | Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Citation: Minnesota Historical Society. U.S. - Dakota War of 1862. Family roles were very structured and followed very closely July 23, 2019. http://www.usdakotawar.org/node/1286

Viewpoints: All viewpoints expressed on this website are those of the contributors, and are not representative of the Minnesota Historical Society.