California Indians and Their Environment: An Introduction / Edition 1

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Overview


Capturing the vitality of California's unique indigenous cultures, this major new introduction incorporates the extensive research of the past thirty years into an illuminating, comprehensive synthesis for a wide audience. Based in part on new archaeological findings, it tells how the California Indians lived in vibrant polities, each boasting a rich village life including chiefs, religious specialists, master craftspeople, dances, feasts, and ceremonies. Throughout, the book emphasizes how these diverse communities interacted with the state's varied landscape, enhancing its already bountiful natural resources through various practices centered around prescribed burning. A handy reference section, illustrated with more than one hundred color photographs, describes the plants, animals, and minerals the California Indians used for food, basketry and cordage, medicine, and more. At a time when we are grappling with the problems of maintaining habitat diversity and sustainable economies, we find that these native peoples and their traditions have much to teach us about the future, as well as the past, of California.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"One of the best books of its nature to ever cross the trail is the scholarly yet accessible California Indians and Their Environment."--Press Democrat

"Anyone seriously interested in the cultural history and daily lives of California's Indians will want to check out a copy of this reference book."--Salinas Californian

"Indispensable for anyone interested in Native cultures and in human interactions with the California environment. . . . Essential."--Choice

"A valuable resource for all Californians who wish to learn more about the tremendous biological and cultural diversity that surrounds us."--News From Native California

"[A] pivotal work. . . . I recommend this book to anyone interested in California Indians and their interactions with their environment."--Economic Botany

Press Democrat

“One of the best books of its nature to ever cross the trail is the scholarly yet accessible California Indians and Their Environment.”
Salinas Californian

“Anyone seriously interested in the cultural history and daily lives of California's Indians will want to check out a copy of this reference book.”
Choice

“Indispensable for anyone interested in Native cultures and in human interactions with the California environment. . . . Essential.”
News From Native California

“A valuable resource for all Californians who wish to learn more about the tremendous biological and cultural diversity that surrounds us.”
Economic Botany - Susannah B. Johnson Fulton

“[A] pivotal work. . . . I recommend this book to anyone interested in California Indians and their interactions with their environment.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520256903
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 4/24/2009
  • Series: California Natural History Guides Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 541,573
  • Product dimensions: 7.24 (w) x 4.58 (h) x 1.31 (d)

Meet the Author


Kent G. Lightfoot, Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, is author of Indians, Missionaries, and Merchants: The Legacy of Colonial Encounters on the California Frontiers (UC Press), among other books. Otis Parrish is a member of the Kashaya Pomo Tribe.
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Table of Contents


Preface
Acknowledgments

RETHINKING CALIFORNIA INDIANS
Why California Indians Matter
The Central Role of Fire
Waves of Migrations
A Landscape of Unparalleled Diversity
The Uniqueness of California
The First Fire Managers
They Are Not Farmers
Where We Go from Here

VISUAL GUIDE TO NATURAL RESOURCES

A GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA INDIAN USES OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Introduction
Northwest Coast Province
Central Coast Province
South Coast Province
Northwest Coast Province
Great Central Valley/Sierra Nevada Province
Southern Deserts Province

Notes
Bibliography
Art Credits
Index

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