Also found in: Medical.


Among certain Native American peoples, a person, usually a male, who assumes the gender identity and is granted the social status of the opposite sex.

[North American French, from French bardache, catamite, from Italian dialectal bardascia, from Arabic bardaj, slave, from Persian bardah, prisoner, from Middle Persian vartak, from Old Iranian *varta-; see welə- in Indo-European roots.]

ber·dach′ism n.


a Native American transvestite



(in some American Indian tribes) a man who adopts the dress and social roles traditionally assigned to women.
[1800–10; < North American French; French bardache boy prostitute < South Italian bardascia < Arabic bardaj slave < Persian bardag]
References in periodicals archive ?
Prieur discute que este razonamiento es contrario a su perspectiva constructivista: "Nadie es transexual, ni jota, ni tampoco gay ni hijra (eunuco en India), ni berdache (transgenero segun las personas indias de Norteamerica) en un sentido absoluto" (p.
Tout comme les Hijras en Inde ou le Mahu, le berdache ne peut etre compare avec les travestis des societes occidentales (Desy, 1978) : il n'est pas transsexuel, puisqu'il ne modifie pas son corps pour << ressembler >> a une femme, mais il peut etre qualifie de transgenre car il cesse d'etre un homme pour devenir un citoyen ayant les caracteristiques sociales a la fois des hommes et des femmes.
indigenous societies did not prohibit or denigrate same-sex sex as long as it occurred between a masculine and feminized male (or berdache), with the berdache assuming the passive position.
When she arrives in Berdache, Arizona, to claim her unexpected property, she decides to stick around and find out who hated her mother enough to murder her.
Le terme << berdache >> a longtemps ete employe par les premiers explorateurs et colonisateurs pour designer les transgenres d'Amerique du nord.
It has replaced the earlier idiom berdache, which is now considered dated and sometimes offensive.
On the contrary, they symbolically sacrificed the berdache before the newcomers.
FORD & BEACH, supra note 8, at 131 ("In many cases this [homosexual] behavior occurs within the framework of courtship and marriage, the man who takes the part of the female being recognized as a berdache and treated as a woman.
When David Halperin, who seems to stand on only one piece of ground, "insists on the non-universality of homosexuality" by stating that it is impossible to consider the attractions of a classical Greek male adult, a berdache in woman's clothing, or an Asmat tribesman in New Guinea, in any way comparable either to each other or to anyone in, say, modern Manhattan, I keep wondering if Halperin has ever read the love poetry of ancient Greece, which often sounds as if it came directly out of Chelsea.
I looked at a number of different artists, and of course the larger body of art history, and I became fascinated with George Catlin because he encountered and wrote about two characters: the Berdache and the Dandy.
While we do not suggest that the Hirschlanden figure depicts some form of Hallstatt berdache (a man who takes on female gender roles), there are clearly hints that the intended 'readings' of the statue may have been ambiguous.
Lorsque je le rencontrai pour la premiere fois cet anthropologue, a l'occasion du symposium Revisiting the North American Berdache, organise en marge du congres de l'American Anthropological Association, en 1993 a Washington, il me raconta qu'Eric Schwimmer lui avait passe plusieurs annees auparavant mon article << Du foetus, au chamane .