Resources for California Teachers & Students
Copyright 1997, 1999, and 2002 by Tad Beckman, Harvey Mudd College, Claremont, CA 91711
My Book on California Indians is now an Amazon Kindle eBook
-- Generally Informative Books
Here are some books that are good sources of general information about California's indigenous people. Incidentally,
there is a fine bibliography
for Northern and Central California available through the California Indian Library Collection at Berkeley.
- Sturtevant, William C. (gen.ed.) and Robert F. Heizer (vol.ed.). Handbook of North American Indians,
Vol. 8, California (Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution, 1978)
A collection of essays
by leading authorities, comprehensively reviewing all aspects of indigenous life in Califoria.
(Note the Handbook's division into study-regions includes portions of Eastern California in the
Great Basin region covered by Vol. 11.)
- Kroeber, A. L. Handbook of the Indians of California (New York: Dover Publications, 1976)
Alfred Kroeber's classic opus on California Indians, first published in 1925.
This text is now available in digital form at The Claremont Colleges Digital Library (CCDL). Just follow this link.
- Powers, Stephen. Tribes of California (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1976)
First published in 1877, the earliest attempt at a comprehensive study of California Indians. This volume
includes an introduction and annotations by Robert F. Heizer.
- Eargle, Dolan H., Jr. California Indian Country: The Land and the People (San Francisco, CA: Trees Company Press, 1992)
A very helpful introduction to California's indigenous people and their lifeways with emphasis on presentday
concentrations of native populations, rancherias, reservations, etc. A good basic guide to what is happening currently.
- Heizer, Robert H. and Albert B. Elsasser. The Natural World of the California Indians (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1980)
This is a very informative and reasonably short overview of California, with special emphasis on the relationship between culture and environment.
- Vane, Sylvia Brakke and Lowell John Bean. California Indians: Primary Resources, A Guide to Manuscripts, Artifacts, Documents, Serials, Music, and Illustrations.
(Menlo Park, CA: Ballena Press, 1990)
Here is the definitive compendium of research materials for California's indigenous people. Of greatest usefulness is a county-by-county list of resources; however, the volume also includes a directory to California materials found in other states and even other countries.
-- Useful Maps
Here are some useful maps of California that demonstrate various aspects of Native cultures and lifeways.
- Landform Map of California
By permission of Ray Sterner, Color Landform Atlas of the US
- Chief Ecological Regions of California
See also Allan A.
Schoenherr. A Natural History of California (University of California Press, 1992)
and Robert F. Heizer & Albert B. Elsasser. The Natural World of the California Indians
(Unviersity of California Press, 1980).
[Click on any map to see an enlargement.]
- Maps available from the California Indian Library Collection
-- Web Resources Especially for California
Here are some Web locations for general historical and cultural information on California's indigenous people.