This article asserts that elite indigenous tribal masculinity is a particular type of masculinity that has developed since colonisation, in part at least, mimicking dominant forms of invader/settler masculinity. While most commentators have outlined that the dominant forms of invader/settler masculinities were held to be inversely related to the mind of indigenous men, the productive nature of power imposed a different set of rules that challenged this dialectic so that aspects of invader/settler masculinity were necessarily imbibed into burgeoning post-contact indigenous masculine leaders. This masculinity has since been allocated disciplinary and authoritative power through notions of tradition and authenticity. Further, indigenous masculinity was often asserted as reflecting the collective will for liberation; in reality, elite indigenous masculinities have habitually served to exclude alternative forms of indigenous masculinity and indigenous women from leadership roles. Via a post-hegemonic analysis of indigenous masculinity, this article appraises the Janus-faced and ambivalent figure of the indigenous heterosexual patriarch; both oppressor and oppressed. The dialectics between hetero-patriarchal masculinity and feminism, and colonised/coloniser become complicated, as indigenous masculinities are both imbibed with privilege and denied it; both performing colonial hetero-patriarchy and resistant to it.
settler colonial studies,
Vol. 2, no. 2 (2012), pp. 23-48