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Encyclopedia of American Indian History and Culture: Stories, Timelines, Maps, and More

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American Indian customs, stories, and history come to life in this important and authoritative reference, artfully designed and packaged for kids and students.

More than 160 tribes are featured in this outstanding new encyclopedia, which presents a comprehensive overview of the history of North America's Native peoples. From the Apache to the Zuni, readers will learn about each tribe's history, traditions, and culture, including the impact of European expansion across the land and how tribes live today. Features include maps of ancestral lands; timelines of important dates and events; fact boxes for each tribe; bios of influential American Indians such as Sitting Bull; sidebars on daily life, homes, food, clothing, jewelry, and games; Did You Know facts with photographs; and traditional Native stories. The design is compelling and colorful, packed with full-color photographs.

To help give kids the lay of the land, this reference is arranged by region, and all federally recognized tribes are included. With nothing comparable available, it is sure to be a valuable resource for kids, students, librarians, and families.

304 pages, Library Binding

Published October 29, 2019

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Cynthia O'Brien

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Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews
Profile Image for Amy.
3,534 reviews79 followers
May 18, 2020
Extremely well done!

This book, produced by National Geographic looks at over 150 tribes from across North America. The book is divided down into geographic locations and then tribes are listed alphabetically within each region.

For each tribe, there is 1-2 pages of information. Included is the name of the tribe, the pronunciation, the language group, language, location precontact, and their location today. There are also color photographs or illustrations of people, buildings, artwork and other cultural artifacts, and sometimes an "In the Know" box that provides a bit of additional information.

At the beginning of each geographic section is information about the tribes in that area, a locator map & key, and a timeline of that area. There are also other "stories" scattered throughout.

At the end of the book is a nice Glossary, a list of Federally Recognized Tribes for each geographic region, a map of Reservation and Reservation Lands, and an Index.

An outstanding, albeit very brief look at the various tribes of North America!
Profile Image for Victoria.
14 reviews
August 21, 2021
This book is not recommended. You may learn the reasons why, here, https://americanindiansinchildrenslit...

I see many people stating how thoughtful this book is and how well researched it is, and while that may appear to be so, as a non-native person you might consider asking yourself - How much knowledge do I carry on this topic to base my opinion on it to begin with?

Consider looking into "What the Eagle Sees" and "Turtle Island: The Story of North America's First People" by Eldon Yellowhorn and Kathy Lowinger.

Profile Image for Elizabeth Reid.
920 reviews9 followers
December 27, 2019
My kids and I just started a unit about American Indians. So, when I was asked to review Nat Geo's Encyclopedia of American Indian History & Culture, I got excited. While we enjoy our history curriculum, any kind of extra reading/videos/activities I can integrate into our social studies is welcome and adds greatly to the educational experience I'm trying to give my kids....

Read my full review here: https://agoodreid.blogspot.com/2019/1...
Profile Image for E.
833 reviews34 followers
November 22, 2022
I was a little surprised at the outdated language given the recent publication date. However, I have yet to see another book that discusses so many tribes individually with this level of detail and important historical dates, so this is staying in our library with the knowledge that some additional caveats and context are advisable.
Profile Image for Stacie.
1,525 reviews95 followers
February 6, 2020
This is the ultimate reference guide for all things American Indians. It’s obviously written for kids, but I learned so much from this book. From the over 160 tribes to the unique languages to the rich and colorful clothing and all the amazing photography, this book is a masterful resource.

I remember doing a project on the Hopi tribe when I was in school. I didn’t have a very large knowledge base regarding American Indians when I was growing up. But, I remember being fascinated with their farming and the different varieties of corn they grew. I also was amazed with their beautiful pottery and detailed baskets that were handmade. Today, reading about them, I’m proud of how they have stuck to their traditions and culture including celebrations and dances in the hopes of a good harvest.

There is an American Indian reservation just 30 minutes from our home and we meet up with them in school activities. I believe they are part of the Sac & Fox tribe which is one of the tribes talked about in the book.

My nephew teaches in a reservation school in Northern Minnesota and I believe they are part of the Ojibwe tribe which is a well-known tribe and one that William Kent Kruger writes about in his adult fiction books. These tribal members and their children find their family history, their culture, and pride in their land to be extremely important to their daily life. There was also highlight on the wilderness firefighters and how the US Forest Service works with the tribes on fire management, which my cousin’s husband does in Northern Minnesota.

Throughout the tribal histories, other bits of information like important animals to the tribes like coyotes, turkeys, rabbits, or frogs are featured. I was also fascinated with a lot of the descriptions of clothing like moccasins, or the homemade dolls made from corn husks. Of course, I must mention all the high-quality National Geographic photos on every single page including children, scenery, and American Indians engaging in activities like dancing, cooking, and playing.

This comprehensive encyclopedia is absolutely fascinating and one that should be in schools and libraries all over the US. I will be gifting my copy to my nephew’s school for his students.
Profile Image for Kailey (Luminous Libro).
3,061 reviews454 followers
November 4, 2019
This book lists the major characteristics and customs of over 160 Native American tribes, dedicating one or two pages to each tribe and including illustrations and photographs, both of historic cultures and modern people.

The book is grouped by region, showing how the environment and climate shaped their culture and livelihood. Time lines demonstrate the changes and historic events that developed their societies.
Each region section has a tribal story that is a part of that culture's traditions and beliefs.

One of the features that I really appreciated is the phonetic pronunciation guide that helps readers to know how pronounce tribal names, including simple words in each language like "hello," goodbye," and "thank you".

The photographs are colorful and emotional, drawing the reader into this vibrant world. I really loved the combination of illustrations and photos, showing artifacts, animals, historical people, homes, toys, traditional dress, musical instruments, common foods, and every detail pertaining to daily life.

The book does a good job of balancing historical information with modern information about the tribes today. It also deals in a fair and unbiased way with some of the terrible wars that Native Americans had with Europeans settlers, giving the facts about events, but not going into details.

I was especially excited to look up the entry for the Cherokee people, since my great-grandmother was Cherokee! I was happy to see that it includes the development of the Cherokee alphabet and writing system, as well as the history of the Trail of Tears.

I loved this book, and I enjoyed finding out more about these rich and beautiful cultures!

Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.
Profile Image for Vera Godley.
1,746 reviews34 followers
November 12, 2019
As America gears up to celebrate the Thanksgiving season, school children across the nation reenact the "Thanksgiving Meal" shared by the Pilgrims and the Indians. American history is filled with episodes - many of which cause our minds and hearts to reel with visualized terror - from every corner of our United States.

In Encyclopedia of American Indian History and Culture the publishers at National Geographic Kids have compiled an extensive collection of organized information, historical and cultural, of Indians who lived in North America.

Categorized by geographic regions and the different tribes or groups of Indians who lived in that specific region, the book explores the range of Indian life from thousands of years prior to Europeans discovering the land mass.

Outstanding photographs of individuals and groups, both current and historical imagery detail the differences of peoples as well as their habits, clothes, utensils, etc. I am completely mesmerized by the beauty.

I think this large specialty encyclopedia would be especially nice for all libraries - school, home, public, and classroom. But I also highly recommend it for any family who carries Indian heritage as a source of pride in their heritage.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.
Profile Image for Michelle.
895 reviews7 followers
June 5, 2020
To be fair, there's not a National Geographic book I've ever found lacking.

Content: 160 tribes are described in a roughly similar way, with basic information about location & language. Anecdotal stories of the tribes' histories are (from the entries I read) largely Eurocentric (meaning the stories are about European interactions, not stories from the culture being described.) But what this book lacks in history, it makes up for in reporting of significant advancements, events and biographies from today.

Layout: This one could easily have been twice as long: tiny print and large white areas make its layout attractive yet hard to read for my older eyes. There are many, colorful photos of people as well as artifacts, each with descriptive captions. Divided into eight regional-based chapters, extra information about the timelines of each region and one story bookend each section.

Significance: In a country where native people are still undoubtedly disenfranchised, this book chooses to highlight the value of their culture and accomplishments and look towards the future. As it's intended for children ages 8-14, that's okay. The advisory consultants for this book are leaders in their fields and I'm willing to accept that sending a positive message focused on the future is a worthwhile reason to write the book.

This is a must-buy for every school library.
Profile Image for Kristi Bernard.
1,407 reviews18 followers
December 2, 2019
National Geographic is sharing American Indian History and Culture in this oversized encyclopedia filled with stories, timelines, maps and more. Readers will learn all about events, contributions and all of the federally recognized tribes.

This exciting guide introduces readers to American Indians from across the United States, divided into eight regions. Inside this guide pages are filled with instructions and an introduction on how to navigate through this encyclopedia. Beautiful photos and illustrations bring to life these amazing peoples, their culture and history. Maria Tallchief was the first Native American prima ballerina. Spirit dolls called Kachina are small figures used to teach children about the Hopi religion. If you love fashion there is plenty shared about the clothing that was worn and how it was made. Each page also has fun facts and language terms from various tribes. The back pages have a glossary, a list of Federally recognized tribes, maps of reservations and resources to learn more.

Parents, teachers and students can use this guide to learn and see how American Indians prospered, fought and passed down their ways to their children. Readers will also learn how they are thriving in today’s society.
Profile Image for Meowy.
26 reviews
January 12, 2022
This book lists 573 federally recognized tribes, but coming from the southwest, I know that there are others that were not listed in this book. This also means that other parts of the country are missing their tribes listed here as well.
I've always had a great fascination with the Native American culture and their history since I was a child. I, myself, am not Native American, but have known many who are and have become friends with. They have introduced me to their ways, their food, their ceremonies and have welcomed me to their homes in their reservations. I've met their grandmothers whom still wear traditional clothing and weave baskets.
It still pains me to know the history of their land taken from them by the white man, the Mormons, the Europeans who claimed the land as first settlers, the Christians, the slaughtering of their people that wiped many off the face of this earth.
Culture brings life to the world. Those who don't have it take it away to make it their own by gruesome slayings.
Honor the true first people and respect cultures that are different. You might learn something.
Profile Image for Ellen.
1,072 reviews7 followers
January 2, 2020
Definitely a very necessary resource for any library to own and any child to explore. It was very repetitive, simply because the stories of all the tribes covered had many overlapping histories (spread of disease from colonists and settlers, loss of land thanks to the government, broken treaties, eventual regaining of small parcels of land, attempts to renew culture and language). My absolute favorite parts were the greetings in each tribe's language and the images, which both gave life to the people described in the main text.
Profile Image for Bethany.
1,639 reviews15 followers
September 23, 2021
If you teach social studies, I HIGHLY recommend you get a copy of National Geographic’s Encyclopedia of American Indian History & Culture.
- Much of the information comes from Native individuals and tribal records.
- Came out this year.
- Ideally for middle school, but is appropriate for 4th-adults.
- It’s organized by region, and includes great maps, timelines, and about one page description for each tribe.
Author 1 book
March 18, 2022
Everything you wanted to know about American Indians.
759 reviews
September 14, 2022
3.9. Using evolutionary dating Only "comprehensive" book library owns on American Indian nations and tribes, shame on them. I am left to purchase children's books about individual nations from secondhand booksellers and since they are older the authors do not always see the need to gather the perspectives directly from the nation members about whom they write.
Displaying 1 - 16 of 16 reviews

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