Cover image for The Gale encyclopedia of Native American tribes
The Gale encyclopedia of Native American tribes
Malinowski, Sharon.
Publication Information:
Detroit : Gale, [1998]

Physical Description:
4 volumes : illustrations, maps ; 29 cm
v. 1. Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean -- v. 2. Great Basin, Southwest, Middle America -- v. 3. Arctic, Subarctic, Great Plains, Plateau -- v. 4. California, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Islands.
Added Author:




Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E77 .G15 1998 V.4 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
E77 .G15 1998 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Oversize Non-Circ
E77 .G15 1998 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference
E77 .G15 1998 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Reference
E77 .G15 1998 V.2 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
E77 .G15 1998 V.3 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
E77 .G15 1998 V.4 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material
E77 .G15 1998 V.1 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

On Order



Providing essays on the history, culture and current status of approximately 400 Native American groups, this work is divided into four geographic volumes. An overview essay introduces each of the ten regions covered, giving a geographic perspective on the tribes covered, as well as insights on cultural and tribal communalities. Individual tribal entries follow alphabetically. Also featured are biographical profiles of prominent tribal leaders.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

This ambitious reference work, designed to be used by students, teachers, librarians, and general readers, provides historical, cultural, and current information on nearly 400 Native American groups. Although the editors attempted to secure native authors and scholars to write and review the essays, tribal affiliation and academic credentials are listed for only a few. At first the arrangement might seem a bit awkward because entries on individual tribal and native groups are divided into 13 geographic regions as suggested by the Smithsonian Institution's classic multivolume Handbook of North American Indians (1988^-). This means that the index is an essential access point for users with limited knowledge about Native Americans. The first volume covers the major tribal groups of the Northeast, Southeast, and Caribbean, while volume 2 deals with the groups of the Great Basin, Southwest, and Middle America. The third volume provides information about the groups of the Arctic, the Subarctic, the Great Plains, and the Plateau. The final volume deals with native groups from the Pacific Northwest, California, and the Pacific Islands. Entries on individual tribal groups are arranged alphabetically within these 13 sections. Access is facilitated by the fact that each volume, in addition to its own table of contents, lists the contents of the other volumes in the set. The major sections begin with a signed overview essay, which varies in length from 5,000 to 20,000 words and contains information about history, culture, and contemporary issues, as well as several small black-and-white maps and photos and a bibliography. These informative overview essays are followed by signed entries on individual tribal groups. Each article is laid out with subsections containing information on the history from pre-European contact to the present, religion, language, buildings, subsistence, clothing, healing practices, customs, oral literature (with an example of a tale or myth), and current tribal issues. Special features in each entry are the sidebars that contain basic information, a time line, and profiles of important people. These sidebars make it easy to find essential information quickly. There are also a number of small black-and-white photos and a bibliography for further reading. Each of the four volumes contains several double-page, black-and-white maps detailing the historical origins of the tribal groups, and the locations of contemporary state and federal reservations. Profiles of individuals are listed separately in each volume's table of contents, making it easy to locate biographical information. There is a cumulative general index of tribes, native peoples, pertinent famous non-native peoples, wars and battles, treaties and important legislation, reservations, associations, and religious groups. What makes this new Gale set unique is its coverage of tribes. The one-volume Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes (Facts On File, 1988) is both less detailed and less current. Another multivolume resource, The Encyclopedia of North American Indians [RBB S 1 97] lists a variety of topics in A^-Z format. High-school, public, and academic libraries will find The Gale Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes a useful addition to their information on native peoples. Team it with Davis' Native America in the Twentieth Century [RBB D 1 94] to broaden coverage of contemporary issues.

Library Journal Review

Responding to ever-growing interest in Native American subjects, Gale Research editors have assembled a voluminous work on the tribes of today and yesterday. Arranged geographically, then alphabetically within each area, the four volumes cover the Northeast and Southeast; the Great Basin and Southwest; the Arctic, Subarctic, Plateau, and Great Plains; and the Pacific Northwest and California. Portions of Mexico and the Caribbean are also covered, and entries are given on the Incas and Native Hawaiians. Regional essays introduce each section, and biographical vignettes and tribal legends appear with many of the articles. The lengthy entries, which follow similar outlines, include an introduction, history, culture, current tribal issues, and a bibliography. While articles are signed, no affiliation is provided for the authors (though tribal identity is sometimes given). In their efforts to be inclusive, the editors have allowed a great deal of duplication. There are entries for the Delaware, for example, and then for the Munsee and Unami—the, two large Delaware linguistic divisions. General discussions appear in the regional essays; similar descriptions are often repeated in tribal articles where not much is known about the tribes' pre-contact customs. Information in different entries is not always consistent, and there are a few glaring omissions. (Why no Carib article in the Caribbean section?) The authors draw heavily on existing publications, including the "Smithsonian's Handbook of North American Indians" series. Public and high school libraries with limited funds should first consider the well-priced Encyclopedia of North American Indians (LJ 12/96). Those who need details for their general readers about small tribes will appreciate the inclusiveness of Gale's encyclopedia.ÄMary B. Davis, Huntington Free Lib., Bronx, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 9 Up-This extensive encyclopedia provides a basic introduction to almost 400 groups. Arranged by culture area it covers the United States, Canada, and "Middle America" (Central America). It contains basic subjects including religion, history, customs, and current tribal issues. Some entries have an oral-literature section that introduces stories, legends, and other relevant pieces by Native tellers. Profiles of prominent tribal members, both historical and contemporary, are also provided. Text boxes highlight important dates and name/location information. Illustrated mainly with attractive black-and-white photographs, this work offers some maps but few visual examples of tribal artwork or symbols. Despite a concerted effort, it has relatively few Native contributors, although the signed essays are generally by authors with special knowledge of their subject area. A bibliography and further readings conclude each of the tribal entries, with references from both the 19th and 20th centuries. Each volume has the same cumulative index, list of federally recognized tribes, maps, and extensive glossary. Although this resource might be useful for larger collections, Barry M. Pritzker's Native Americans (ABC-CLIO, 1998) is a better basic encyclopedia on the subject.-Mary B. McCarthy, ACLIN/Colorado State Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

As part of the continuing spate of reference literature on Native Americans, this easy-to-use encyclopedia offers both historical and current information concerning approximately 400 Native groups in the Americas written or reviewed where possible by Native American authors or tribal councils. Within each volume the material is clustered by geographical regions, most with signed regional overviews. The bulk of the entries treat North America, although seven groups are listed under Middle America (where the Incas are incorrectly placed), two under the Caribbean, and one (Native Hawaiians) under the Pacific islands. Boxed biographical profiles of selected American Indians, maps, bibliographies and further readings, more than 600 black-and-white images, and a glossary are included. A volume-specific table of contents as well as a cumulative general index, an alphabetical list of all tribes covered, and a list of federally recognized tribes in the US and Canada appear in each volume. Recommended for public, school, and academic libraries, although at least the latter would certainly also want the authoritative, scholarly Handbook of North American Indians (1978- ), which has resumed publishing. M. R. Dittemore; Smithsonian Institution Libraries