Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes

Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes

by Carl Waldman, Molly Braun

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Encyclopedia of Native American Indians is a comprehensive, accessible guide to more than 150 North American Indian nations. Organized alphabetically by tribe or group, the book summarizes the historical record—such as locations, migrations, contacts with non-Indians, wars—and includes present-day tribal status. Readers will get a brief look at


Encyclopedia of Native American Indians is a comprehensive, accessible guide to more than 150 North American Indian nations. Organized alphabetically by tribe or group, the book summarizes the historical record—such as locations, migrations, contacts with non-Indians, wars—and includes present-day tribal status. Readers will get a brief look at traditional Indian lifeways, including language, families, clothing, houses, boats, tools, arts, legends, and rituals. This revised edition features:
Important developments in Indian political issues and cultural affairs
Increased coverage of prehistoric Indians as well as Mesoamerican civilizations
Emerging casinos in the 1990s, such as Foxwoods in the Pequot reservation in Connecticut
Recent activism, such as demonstrations at Plymouth, Massachusetts and the blockade at the Oka and Kahnawake reserves near Montreal
The use of native names again by certain tribes, such as the Inuit, rather than those applied by non-Indians.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Children's Literature
Maps, a glossary, an index, and several organizational lists complement this presentation of brief text about each of over 150 tribes of North America, as well as peoples and cultures of what is commonly referred to as "prehistory." Lifeways and material cultures are detailed, together with illustrations of art, ceremonial objects, dwelling styles, and other aspects pertinent to each culture. While not to be used as an exclusive reference, this volume does provide useful overview and introduction. Bibliography and index are included. 1999 (orig. 1988), Checkmark Books, Ages 10 up, $65.00 and $19.95. Reviewer: Uma Krishnaswami
VOYA - Voya Reviews
Similarly titled, these resources offer two very different approaches. Macmillan Encyclopedia arranges Native American tribes according to geographic culture regions and then by language families. These regions include Northeastern Woodlands, Southeastern Woodlands, Plains and Prairie, Plateau, Great Basin, California, Southwest, Northwest Coast, Subarctic, and Arctic. Within chapters extensive detail is given to where tribes are located. A limited description of cultural characteristics, such as dress, housing, and politics, follows. Each tribal entry ends with census information on population trends. The strength of this reference lies in its illustrations. Historic and current photographs, drawings by Richard Hook, and maps make up at least half of each page, creating a visually interesting format with a combination of black-and-white photos and color plates with detailed captions. The major difference between this update and the 1993 edition, in which pictures were separated from the text, is in the format. Editor Waldman's Encyclopedia is also a revision of the 1989 edition. Tribes are listed alphabetically with short summaries of the geographic and language families. Each entry captures the culture and history in an interesting and insightful way. Selections conclude with the current status of the tribe including census data, information on contemporary individual members, and current affairs of the tribe. Although the drawings contributed by Braun are more limited than the illustrations in the Johnson book, the information about the tribes is far more comprehensive. The cultural background gives the reader a clear representation of the tribe and its history. In the discussion ofthe Sioux, readers are given historical reference to the famous Crazy Horse War and the Battle of Wounded Knee. These two battles are covered in only one paragraph in the Johnson work. The importance of mining in the Black Hills and the focus of the Ghost Dance are explained, giving global perspective to these events. Both books include tables of cultural areas, language families, glossaries, indexes, and selected bibliographies. Waldman's bibliography focuses on the political, whereas Johnson's emphasizes artistic references to Native American culture. Ironically neither uses many sources devoted solely to individual tribes. Johnson's appendixes include an explanation and calendar of powwows, a geographic list of museums, North American Indian population tables, and useful Web sites. Although Waldman's work is recommended for the interesting and more complete entries, Johnson's is a worthy purchase for its illustrations and pictures. NOTE: This review was written to address two titles. Glossary. Index. Illus. Maps. Biblio. 1999, Facts on File, Ages 12 to Adult, 312p. PLB $65. Reviewer: Ann T. Reddy Damon
Library Journal
The traditional lifestyles and customs of individual North American tribes and their history after contact with encroaching whites are topics discussed in alphabetical entries ranging from Abenaki to Zuni. Cross-referenced segments on cultural areas, i.e., Northeast, supplement the information given under individual tribal headings. Sections on prehistory, Mayas, Aztecs, and Olmecs are included. Entries contain a lot of information but are often chatty, rambling discussions that stray from the topic. The work does not go significantly beyond Barbara Leitch's A Concise Dictionary of Indian Tribes of North America (LJ 4/1/80). Recommended for public libraries lacking Leitch.Mary B. Davis, Museum of the American Indian Lib., New York
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-A splendid revision. While not exhaustive, this volume provides an examination of more than 150 groups of Native American peoples. The alphabetically arranged entries vary in length from a few paragraphs to several pages. The content has been updated to reflect both new information about the past and current issues, and the language has been significantly modified to reflect more contemporary sensibilities and to make the text more readable. The colorful drawings, almost exact duplicates of those in the 1988 edition, are mostly of artifacts, structures, or costumes and serve nicely to clarify descriptions. The brightness and color have been enhanced, adding luster to the overall look of the book. Maps provide a frame of reference for the articles on major cultural groups. All libraries, including those that own other titles on the subject, should give serious consideration to this valuable work.-Linda Greengrass, Bank Street College Library, New York City Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Having written extensively about native North Americans before, Waldman examines over 150 tribes as well as prehistoric peoples and civilizations. He takes them alphabetically and summarizes the present status as well as historical factors such as locations, migrations, contact with non-Indians, and wars. He also presents information on language, clothing, houses, transportation, tools, arts, legends, and religions. The bibliography is not topic-specific, and there is little cross-referencing. Nearly every page shows a color drawing. The extensive glossary does not indicate pronunciation. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

Facts on File, Incorporated
Publication date:
Facts on File Library of American History
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.40(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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