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Encyclopedia of American Indian Costume Hardcover – June 30, 1994


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Hardcover, June 30, 1994
$48.87 $2.09
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 516 pages
  • Publisher: ABC-CLIO (June 30, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0874366852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0874366853
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.7 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,049,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Many nations share the North American continent; the diversities of clothing styles of Native Americans are documented in this book. Offering complete descriptions and the cultural context of the dress and ornamentation of these Americans, this authoritative book is accessible to everyone from the upper elementary student to adults.

The book is divided into 10 cultural regions north of Mexico. Each region is described in a general manner. The tribes that inhabited the area are listed in a table at the beginning of the chapter, and those that are further described are followed by a page number. The description of the costume of each specific tribe is given in a consistent order, including men's basic, women's basic, footware, outer wear, hairstyles, headgear, accessories, jewelry, armor, special costumes, garment decoration, face and body embellishment, and masks. A final paragraph on transitional dress refers to how clothing changed after involvement with Europeans. Beyond the basic description, the author includes insight into the culture, natural materials, and societal influences that led to the diversity of costumes. More than 400 large black-and-white photographs, some of them by famous photographers such as Edward Curtis, and drawings and paintings by noted artists, such as Karl Bodmer and George Catlin, illustrate the entries. A list of key sources for the information follows each entry. Appendixes include a glossary and descriptions of the materials used in clothing and the techniques of their production, with line drawings of many articles. An extensive bibliography, divided by cultural region, is followed by a detailed index. The index lists not only tribes and pieces of clothing, but also such subjects as puberty customs and looms.

Although technically a book on clothing, the Encyclopedia of American Indian Costume would serve well in the college, public, or school library for broader research on the many tribes listed.

Review

"This impressive reference work took ten years to write, and the waiting was well worth it. Nothing of this scope and magnitude on this subject has been done before. Highly recommended for all libraries."

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Laura Redish on March 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
The author does a good job addressing the many different native peoples of North America in this book, but I was disappointed by the lack of pictures. You'd think she could have at least put a sketch in with each tribal description. No one who goes into this book without already knowing what these clothing articles look like is going to come out of this book with a mental impression of what an outfit from any given tribe might have looked like. It's still an interesting reference and I'm glad to have it, but I can't recommend it for schools.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Raymond on December 10, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is the best general guide I've ever seen to the different costume practices of each major North American Indian tribal group. The book has only two significant drawbacks for the general reader: not enough illustrations (though many are rare photographs almost 100 years old) and unclear chronology. All tribes' costume changed after European contact and such contact occurred at different times for different areas; these factors can make it challenging to pick the relevant information from the text. However, I still learned a lot from this book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
For anyone fascinated by the customs and dress of the American Indians, this book is a rich reference. The adaptation of materials found in nature along with the practicality of clothing in different regions provides interesting reading for hours. Anyone who thinks all Indians dressed alike in drab buckskins or adorned themselves or wore their hair alike needs to read about the skill and beauty involved in making their wonderful clothing and jewelry. It would be nice to see more photos and some color pictures, but it is still a great book! My only disappointment is in the choice of the word "costume" in the title. Go to any Pow Wow and you'll see today's Indians cringe at that term as it implies dressing up as something they are not. "Regalia" is their preferred term for their outfits. I recommend this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By StephenX on August 31, 2009
Format: Paperback
We bought this book hoping to learn about American Indian costumes. What we got was a brief summary on each tribe, nothing much in depth nor nothing we had not known before. We were hoping for pictures. There are very few pictures of Indians in costume in the book. The best picture is on the cover. If we had seen the book before we bought it, we probably would have passed on it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Richie E. on December 22, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting book for all who want to research the dress/costume of the great american tribes. However the illustrations are in black and white only.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Betty A. Howard on September 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book is very informative, with detailed text describing Native American costume, but more illustrations would be helpful. The few illustrations that are included are not always reproduced well, possibly an artifact of working with more-than-a-century-old photographs. A few of the descriptions of the photographs are not completely accurate, as in the case of a dentalium shell choker described as a hair pipe choker. Otherwise I believe it will be very useful in my quest to reproduce traditional Native American women's clothing.
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