The brief Russian presence in California yielded some of the earliest ethnography of Native Californians and some of the best collections of their material culture. Unstudied by western scholars because of their being housed in Russian museums, they are presented here for the first time in an English language volume. Descriptions of early nineteenth-century travelers such as von Wrangel and Voznesenskii are followed by a catalog of objects ranging from hunting weapons to household objects to ritual dress to musical instruments, games, and gift objects. This catalog of objects includes over 150 images, many in full color. An essential volume for those interested in the ethnology, archaeology, art, and cultures of Native Californians.
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"The most comprehensive account and photographic replication of Russian-derived Indian objects from early California ever attempted. Not only have they provided us with an attractive, orderly description, both textual and visual, of the known extant items, but they have also compared them meticulously with analogous California artifacts now located in museums and collections throughout the United States and Western Europe. Their photographs and their conclusions persuade us of the unique beauty and craftsmanship of these objects."
--From the Foreword by Stephen Watrous
"...[This book] offers the most thorough accounting yet of the Native Californian ethnographic objects collected by Russian military officers and scientists who came to California during the first half of the nineteenth century .[It's] a fascinating window into the material world of Native California during the first half of the nineteenth century. This deeply researched book will have wide appeal among anthropologists, archaeologists, native people, and others."...
--Lee M. Panich, Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology