, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 34–55

Feminist Theory, Leadership, and the Spirits of States in East Asia



Feminist theory (not merely adding women to archaeological interpretations) is still needed in archaeology to eliminate earlier biases that are expressed in many ways. This paper uses the example of shamanism in early East Asia and the formation of states as a case study to demonstrate the advantage of a shift in focus from a theoretical stance that implies male leaders to one that is open to the possibility of female leaders.

Key Words

Gender State origins Shamans Leadership 


La théorie féministe – qui ne se contente pas d’ajouter les femmes aux interprétations archéologiques – est toujours nécessaire en archéologie pour éliminer les vieux préjugés qui s’expriment de façons très diverses. Cet article utilise l’exemple du chamanisme dans l’Asie de l’Est ancienne ainsi que la formation des États comme étude de cas pour démontrer l’avantage qu’il y a à réorienter la position théorique qui présuppose des dirigeants hommes vers une autre se montrant ouverte aux dirigeantes femmes.


La teoría feminista (no limitada a la inclusión de las mujeres en las interpretaciones arqueológicas) sigue siendo necesaria en la arqueología para eliminar anteriores prejuicios, que se reflejan de muchas maneras. Este trabajo se sirve del ejemplo del chamanismo en la antigua Asia Oriental y de la formación de los estados a modo de estudio de caso para demostrar la ventaja que aportaría un cambio de enfoque, es decir, pasar de una postura teórica que implique a los líderes masculinos a otra que esté abierta a la posibilidad de líderes femeninas.


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Copyright information

© World Archaeological Congress 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of DenverDenverUSA

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