Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyLoaded with photos and maps, this compact volume presents an elementary survey of diverse native cultures extant in what are now the United States and Canada before the invasion of the Europeans. Bancroft-Hunt's ( People of the Totem ) terse, clearly written text shows how various tribes--Apache, Eskimo, Iroquois--were shaped by the lands on which they lived. The book is helpfully organized into geographical regions--desert dwellers, buffalo hunters of the plains. But the selling point here is the often stunning color photography of artifacts. Less distinguished is the selection of historical black & white photos. (June)
Library Journal - Library JournalUsing photographs and text, the author of People of the Totem (Univ. of Oklahoma Pr., 1988) introduces the diverse cultures of the desert, far North, Plains, Northwest coast, forest, and Far West dwellers as they were ``before trade goods began to supplant local materials.'' His discussion, directed to general readers, covers the interrelationships among the different groups in each area. The photographs, some of which are inaccurately captioned, often supplement rather than illustrate the discussion in the text. Appropriate for library patrons whose curiosity about the rich traditions and art of America's Native peoples is newly aroused in this quincentenary year of European discovery.-- Mary B. Davis, Huntington Free Lib., Bronx, N.Y.
School Library Journal - School Library JournalGr 7-12-- A heavily illustrated, oversized, anthropological overview of traditional Native American societies. Most of the culture areas of North America are represented in such chapters as ``The Desert Dwellers,'' ``The Far North,'' ``Buffalo Hunters of the Plains,'' ``Fishermen of the Northwest Coast,'' ``The Forest Dwellers,'' and ``The Far West.'' This somewhat truncated arrangement lumps some disparate groups together, and information on any given tribe is brief and episodic. The focus is on culture, not history, and Bancroft-Hunt clarifies those customs or beliefs that may be unclear to non-Indian ways of thinking. However, the outstanding feature here is the illustrations: superb photographs of artifacts from private collections, reproductions of archival photos, and a few paintings, many of which have not appeared in print before. They were carefully selected to show objects being made at the time of European contact, and all are accompanied by detailed and informative captions. A useful index is included, but no sources or bibliography are provided. Despite the quality of the book, it will probably be used more by browsers than report writers, and may actually be most at home on a coffee table. --Lisa Mitten, University of Pittsburgh, PA
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