Responding to ever-growing interest in Native American subjects, Gale Research editors have assembled a voluminous work on the tribes of today and yesterday. Arranged geographically, then alphabetically within each area, the four volumes cover the Northeast and Southeast; the Great Basin and Southwest; the Arctic, Subarctic, Plateau, and Great Plains; and the Pacific Northwest and California. Portions of Mexico and the Caribbean are also covered, and entries are given on the Incas and Native Hawaiians. Regional essays introduce each section, and biographical vignettes and tribal legends appear with many of the articles. The lengthy entries, which follow similar outlines, include an introduction, history, culture, current tribal issues, and a bibliography. While articles are signed, no affiliation is provided for the authors (though tribal identity is sometimes given). In their efforts to be inclusive, the editors have allowed a great deal of duplication. There are entries for the Delaware, for example, and then for the Munsee and Unamithe, two large Delaware linguistic divisions. General discussions appear in the regional essays; similar descriptions are often repeated in tribal articles where not much is known about the tribes' pre-contact customs. Information in different entries is not always consistent, and there are a few glaring omissions. (Why no Carib article in the Caribbean section?) The authors draw heavily on existing publications, including the "Smithsonian's Handbook of North American Indians" series. Public and high school libraries with limited funds should first consider the well-priced Encyclopedia of North American Indians (LJ 12/96). Those who need details for their general readers about small tribes will appreciate the inclusiveness of Gale's encyclopedia.Mary B. Davis, Huntington Free Lib., Bronx, NY
Gr 9 Up-This extensive encyclopedia provides a basic introduction to almost 400 groups. Arranged by culture area it covers the United States, Canada, and "Middle America" (Central America). It contains basic subjects including religion, history, customs, and current tribal issues. Some entries have an oral-literature section that introduces stories, legends, and other relevant pieces by Native tellers. Profiles of prominent tribal members, both historical and contemporary, are also provided. Text boxes highlight important dates and name/location information. Illustrated mainly with attractive black-and-white photographs, this work offers some maps but few visual examples of tribal artwork or symbols. Despite a concerted effort, it has relatively few Native contributors, although the signed essays are generally by authors with special knowledge of their subject area. A bibliography and further readings conclude each of the tribal entries, with references from both the 19th and 20th centuries. Each volume has the same cumulative index, list of federally recognized tribes, maps, and extensive glossary. Although this resource might be useful for larger collections, Barry M. Pritzker's Native Americans (ABC-CLIO, 1998) is a better basic encyclopedia on the subject.-Mary B. McCarthy, ACLIN/Colorado State Library Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.