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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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"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."—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."—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."—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."—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."—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."—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!"—William Simmons, Brown University
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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Book Description University of California Press, 2009. Hardcover. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P110520244710
Book Description University of California Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0520244710 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.1131980