Darren Ranco quoted in UMaine News article

Darren Ranco

Darren Ranco, UMaine associate professor of anthropology, chair of Native American Programs, and Mitchell Center faculty fellow, is quoted in a recent article from UMaine News, “Penobscot women and the tribal land tenure systems in 19th-century Maine,” posted on February 21.

The article traces the history of a unique land system established in Maine in 1835 that recognized married Penobscot women as land owners – before the same rights were granted to non-Native married women in 1844. Women had long had diverse and important roles in Penobscot culture, which were reflected in the land system that allowed them to own property. Micah Pawling, UMaine associate professor of history and Native American Programs, researched this system and published an article about it in American Indian Quarterly.

“The strength of these powerful roles is revealed by the fact that the state of Maine had to recognize Penobscot women (ahead of White women) as landowners during some of the darkest times of our history as Penobscot people in the 19th century,” Ranco says in the UMaine News article.

“While these roles may be surprising in the context of American women’s rights at the time, matrilineal cultural preferences in Wabanaki societies meant women had far more power than their non-Native counterparts.”

Read the full article on the UMaine News site. Learn more about the Penobscot Nation at their website.