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"Introduction," The North American Indian v. 14
by Edward S. Curtis (1924)

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THE
NORTH AMERICAN
INDIAN

BEING A SERIES OF VOLUMES PICTURING
AND DESCRIBING

THE INDIANS OF THE UNITED STATES, THE
DOMINION OF CANADA, AND ALASKA

WRITTEN, ILLUSTRATED, AND
PUBLISHED BY

EDWARD S. CURTIS

EDITED BY
FREDERICK WEBB HODGE

FOREWORD BY
THEODORE ROOSEVELT

FIELD RESEARCH CONDUCTED UNDER THE
PATRONAGE OF

J. PIERPONT MORGAN

American Indian symbol

IN TWENTY VOLUMES
THIS, THE FOURTEENTH VOLUME, PUBLISHED IN THE YEAR
NINETEEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY-FOUR


Copyright, 1924
By Edward S. Curtis

THE PLIMPTON PRESS • NORWOOD • MASSACHUSETTS
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


CONTENTS OF VOLUME FOURTEEN

PAGE
Illustrationsvii
Alphabet used in Recording Indian Terms   ix
. . .
The Miwok129
. . .
APPENDIX
Tribal Summary
. . .
The Miwok195
. . .
Vocabularies
. . .
Miwok244
. . .

ILLUSTRATIONS

. . .
On the Merced — Southern Miwok92
A Southern Miwok94
A Southern Miwok — Profile96
Sifting Basket — Southern Miwok100
A Southern Miwok Youth102
. . .
A Bowlder Milling-stone - Miwok   106
A Southern Miwok Woman108
. . .

ALPHABET USED IN RECORDING INDIAN TERMS

[The consonants are as in English, except when otherwise noted]

aas in father
aas in cat
aas in awl
aias in aisle
eas in they
ĕas in net
ias in machine
ĭas in sit
oas in old
as in how
oias in oil
uas in ruin
ŭas in nut
rounded i as in French peu  
uas in push
has ch in German Bach
ghthe sonant of h
ka non-aspirated k
kvelar k
qas kw
nas ng in sing
nnasal, as in French dans
hlthe surd of 1
pa non-aspirated p
ta non-aspirated t
Tdental t
thas in thin
shas in shall
'a glottal pause
! stresses enunciation of the preceding
consonant
superior letters are voiceless, almost inaudible


INTRODUCTION

The geographical limits of this volume include an extensive area marked by great physical contrasts. Its borders extend on the coast from San Francisco bay nearly to Humboldt bay, and in the interior from Mount Shasta to the Tehachapi range. Within these boundaries are the redwood forests on the western slopes of the Coast range; the fertile valleys of Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties lying between two branches of the range; the vast valley of the Sacramento and the San Joaquin, shut in by the Coast range on the west, the Sierra Nevada on the east, Shasta and the Siskiyous on the north, and Tehachapi range on the south. Besides a large part of the redwood forests and the vast agricultural domain of the interior valley, the area comprises the agricultural and stock-raising counties north of San Francisco bay and the placer gold counties of the Sierras, including the romantic "mother-lode" region.

The aboriginal population of this territory is of course a matter of conjecture. It has been estimated that the entire state may have held 150,000 Indians, and probably a third of the total were within these limits. Had the natives of California possessed the self-protective instinct of the Plains tribes, the early history of the state, and in fact of the United States, would read quite differently. The winning of the West would be another story. But the native population was divided into many small local groups lacking the instinct for tribal organization and speaking different languages and numerous dialects. Furthermore, the high mountain regions, covered with an undergrowth all but impenetrable and cut by impassable gorges, prevented communication and association. These conditions would have tended to prevent a concentrated stand against encroachment, even if the people had been warlike. As it was, they fell easy prey to the greed of civilization.

Robbed of their lands by treaties unkept or unratified, they became what the state and the Federal Government term a problem. The situation is a striking illustration of the recognized fact that the only Indians who received anything like fair treatment were the fighters, the tribes that killed ruthlessly and brutally. The peaceful Indians were driven from their lands, killed or outraged on the slightest provocation.

From time to time the Government has purchased small and usually barren tracts of ground for these homeless Indians. Some of the purchases seem to have been more profitable to the sellers than to the Indians. The result of such treatment is that the majority of the natives are gypsy-like field hands, moving from place to place where work in planting or harvesting can be had.

There are included in this volume representatives of four linguistic stocks: Athapascan, Yukian, Hokan, and Penutian. In general there is much cultural similarity throughout the entire region. Ceremonies were but poorly developed, clothing was of the simplest sort, implements were not numerous nor ingenious. Fish and game were plentiful, and in most localities a fairly reliable harvest of acorns and seeds was available.

The field work was done in the years 1915, 1916, 1922, and 1924. In collecting and preparing the material for this volume I have had the continued assistance and collaboration of Mr. W. E. Myers.

Edward S. Curtis


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