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Handbook of the Indians of California, with 419 Illustrations and 40 Maps (Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin No. 78) Paperback – February 1, 2012
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Some of the tribes understandably receive more coverage than others, because little was known about them at the time. For example, the Wappo and Washo Indians only have four and half pages each in the book, but the Yokuts section has 70 pages, but this is understandable given the original publication date of 1925 by the U.S. Government Printing Office. Since then, our knowledge of many of the tribes has become significantly greater, or at least less sketchy, but you'll have to consult other sources for that.
One notable thing about the book is the photos of various individuals, most of which could probably not be obtained today--such as the picture of the "Karok man in warrior custume in rod armor and helmut," or the "Hupa (man) measuring dentalium money against tattoos on his forearm," two truly quite striking photographic portrayals.
Despite its deficiencies (which are still modest considering how old it is), this still ranks as the best compendium of knowledge about California Indians, and one of the greatest ethnographies ever written.
On a personal note, I thought I'd mention I had Kroeber's son, Ted, as my psychological statistics professor at San Francisco State back in the mid-70's.Read more ›
Though some of the information has been corrected by subsequent researchers (checking Kroeber's work against more recent publications is reasonable), the Handbook remains useful to anyone who wants an overview or details about the numerous peoples who inhabited the state before the coming of the Spanish in 1769.
Where Kroeber is sketchiest is, of course, where the peoples had been exterminated before his investigations began shortly after the turn of the century. His work on the Yokuts and the Mojave, on the other hand, is extensive and helps us to understand some of the culture of their now missing neighbors. He has left no people unaccounted for. Thanks to this volume, interest in the California Indians has been stimulated for all time and with that interest has come a desire to preserve.
All California history lovers and anthropologists need this book on their shelves.
Would have liked more pictures to see how they lived
Would recommend as it is so informative by The famous Kroeber
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I use this book nearly everyday writing contract archaeology reports. Excellent, classic and important reference.Published 7 months ago by Archy-guy