Synopses & Reviews
"Relevant, timely, and approachable, California Indians and Their Environment
is an instant classic that should be invaluable for anyone interested in California's diverse natural and cultural landscapes and the future sustainability of the state."and#151;Torben Rick, author of Human Impacts on Ancient Marine Ecosystems: A Global Perspective
"California Indians and Their Environment stands respectfully on the shoulders of scholarly giants and demonstrates the cumulative power of cultural, historical, and scientific research. It is a remarkably inclusive and relevant text that is both highly informative of past indigenous life ways and identities and strikingly insightful into current environmental crises that confront us all."and#151;Seth Mallios, author of The Deadly Politics of Giving: Exchange and Violence at Ajacan, Roanoke, and Jamestown
"In this highly readable and insightful book, Lightfoot and Parrish show how the natural diversity of California not only influenced the contours of Indian lifeways, but was indeed augmented by burning and other practices, that were used to sustain indigenous economies. The ingenuity and skill with which California Indians managed and used natural resources underscores the need to infuse modern land-use policy with the knowledge of people whose ecological experiences in North America eclipse those of Euroamericans by a factor of forty."and#151;Kenneth E. Sassaman, author of People of the Shoals: Stallings Culture of the Savannah River Valley
"This book is a deeply informative and fascinating examination of California Indians' rich and complex relationship with the ecological landscape. Lightfoot and Parrish have thoroughly updated the classic book, The Natural World of the California Indians, with critical analysis of anthropological theory and methods and incorporation of indigenous knowledge and practices. It is a lucid, accessible book that tells an intriguing story for our modern times."and#151;Melissa K. Nelson, San Francisco State University and President of The Cultural Conservancy
"At once scholarly and accessible, this book is destined to be a classic. Framed around pressing environmental issues of concern to a broad range of Californians today, Lightfoot and Parrish provide an historical ecology of California's amazingly diverse environments, its biological resources, and the Native peoples who both adapted to and actively managed them."and#151;Jon M. Erlandson, author of Early Hunter-Gatherers of the California Coast
"California Indians and Their Environment fills a significant gap in our understanding of the first peoples of California. Lightfoot and Parrish take on the daunting task of synthesizing and expanding on our knowledge of indigenous land-management practices, sustainable economies, and the use of natural resources for food, medicine, and technological needs. This innovative and thought-provoking book is highly recommended to anyone who wants to learn more about the diverse traditions of California Indians."and#151;Lynn Gamble, author of The Chumash World at European Contact
"This innovative book moves understanding of the Native Peoples of California from the past to the future. The authors' insight into Native Californians as fire managers is an eye-opener to interpreting the ecological and cultural uniqueness of the region. Lightfoot and Parrish have provided the best introduction to Native California while at the same time advancing the best scholarship with an original synthesis. A rare feat!"and#151;William Simmons, Brown University
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.
The Canadian Sioux are descendants of Santees, Yanktonais, and Tetons from the United States who sought refuge in Canada during the 1860s and 1870s. Living today on eight reserves in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, they are the least studied of all the Sioux groups. This book, originally published in 1984, helps fill that gap in the literature and remains relevant even in the twenty-first century.
Based on Howardand#8217;s fieldwork in the 1970s and supplemented by written sources, The Canadian Sioux,and#160;Second Editionand#160;descriptively reconstructs their traditional culture, many aspects of which are still practiced or remembered by Canadian Sioux although long forgotten by their relatives in the United States. Rich in detail, it presents an abundance of information on topics such as tribal divisions, documented history and traditional history, warfare, economy, social life, philosophy and religion, and ceremonialism. Nearly half the book is devoted to Canadian Sioux religion and describes such ceremonies as the Vision Quest, the Medicine Feast, the Medicine Dance, the Sun Dance, warrior society dances, and the Ghost Dance.
This second edition includes previously unpublished images, many of them photographed by Howard, and some of his original drawings.
In Native American Environmentalism
the history of indigenous peoples in North America is brought into dialogue with key environmental terms such as and#8220;wildernessand#8221; and and#8220;nature.and#8221; The conflict between Christian environmentalist thinking and indigenous views, a conflict intimately linked to the current environmental crisis in the United States, is explored through an analysis of parks and wilderness areas, gardens and gardening, and indigenous approaches to land as expressed in contemporary art, novels, and historical writing.
and#160;Countering the inclination to associate indigenous peoples with and#8220;wildernessand#8221; or to conflate everything and#8220;Indianand#8221; with a vague sense of the ecological, Joy Porter shows how Indian communities were forced to migrate to make way for the nationand#8217;s and#8220;wildernessand#8221; parks in the nineteenth century. Among the first American communities to reckon with environmental despoliation, they have fought significant environmental battles and made key adaptations. By linking Native American history to mainstream histories and current debates, Porter advances the important process of shifting debate about climate change away from scientists and literary environmental writers, a project central to tackling environmental crises in the twenty-first century.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Indian Territory, which would eventually become the state of Oklahoma, was a multicultural space in which various Native tribes, European Americans, and African Americans were equally engaged in struggles to carve out meaningful lives in a harsh landscape. John Milton Oskison, born in the territory to a Cherokee mother and an immigrant English father, was brought up engaging in his Cherokee heritage, including its oral traditions, and appreciating the utilitarian value of an American education.
Oskison left Indian Territory to attend college and went on to have a long career in New York City journalism, working for the New York Evening Post and Collierand#8217;s Magazine. He also wrote short stories and essays for newspapers and magazines, most of which were about contemporary life in Indian Territory and depicted a complex multicultural landscape of cowboys, farmers, outlaws, and families dealing with the consequences of multiple interacting cultures.
Though Oskison was a well-known and prolific Cherokee writer, journalist, and activist, few of his works are known today. This first comprehensive collection of Oskisonand#8217;s unpublished autobiography, short stories, autobiographical essays, and essays about life in Indian Territory at the turn of the twentieth century fills a significant void in the literature and thought of a critical time and place in the history of the United States.
In this innovative, performative approach to the expressive culture of the Yaqui (Yoeme) peoples of the Sonora and Arizona borderlands, David Delgado Shorter provides an altogether fresh understanding of Yoeme worldviews. Based on extensive field study, Shorterand#8217;s interpretation of the communityand#8217;s ceremonies and oral traditions as forms of and#8220;historical inscriptionand#8221; reveals new meanings of their legends of the Talking Tree, their Testamento narrative of myth and history, and their fabled deer dances, funerary rites, and church processions.
Working collaboratively with Yoeme communities, Shorter has produced a scrupulous investigation that challenges received wisdom from both anthropological and New Age perspectives, demonstrates how Yoeme performances provide a counterdiscourse to earlier understandings of colonialism and conquest, and updates our knowledge of contemporary Yoeme society. Shorterand#8217;s vivid descriptions and penetrating analyses vividly show how todayand#8217;s Yoeme peoples navigate the tribulations and opportunities of the twenty-first century.
About the Author
James H. Howard (1925and#8211;82) was a professor of anthropology at Oklahoma State University. His many publications include The Warrior Who Killed Custer: The Personal Narrative of Chief Joseph White Bull
and Shawnee: The Ceremonialism of a Native American Tribe and Its Cultural Background
Raymond J. DeMallie is Chancellorand#8217;s Professor of Anthropology and American Studies, codirector of the American Indian Studies Research Institute, and curator of North American Ethnology at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures at Indiana University.
Douglas R. Parks is a professor of anthropology and codirector of the American Indian Studies Research Institute at Indiana University, and editor of the journal Anthropological Linguistics.
Table of Contents
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
Northwest Coast Province
Central Coast Province
South Coast Province
Northwest Coast Province
Great Central Valley/Sierra Nevada Province
Southern Deserts Province