A good starting place is The Handbook of North American Indians. I'm not sure why this massive series is called a handbook You need big hands and strong arms. It's certainly not something you'd stick in your back pocket, or even in a suitcase. So far there are 12 volumes in print, each the size of a large dictionary. The volumes are arranged by areas of the United States, plus special volumes on Languages and the History of Indian-White Relations. The Southwest is in two volumes - Pueblo and non-Pueblo, and the Plains volume has two parts, each the size of a regular volume.
Apart from this, the standard indices of ethnographic references on Native (North) Americans are:
These were the last printed editions. They can be found in research libraries.
Since then the HRAF indices for North American peoples have appeared on CD-ROM as the Bibliography of Native North Americans (BNNA), a cooperative effort of SilverPlatter Information, Inc., and the Human Relations Area Files (HRAF). This should also be available in libraries.
It certainly doesn't hurt to march into your local library and ask for help looking for books on a particular subject. This is more or less what librarians live for, right?
On the web you can't do better for a starting point than Lisa A. Mitten's comprehensive site, "NATIVE AMERICAN SITES and home of the American Indian Library Association Web Page."
The standard indices of publications on Native American languages, published annually, are:
The International Journal of American Linguistics (IJAL) is a quarterly journal on linguistic aspects of Native American languages, founded by Franz Boas.
For a list of less commonly taught languages taught in the USA and Canada, see the Linguistic Society of America site, which currently refers visitors for this to the Less Commonly Taught Languages Project.
Another good place to look is the site of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas (SSILA), which includes an index of instructional materials available. Some items may no longer be available, and this list is not at all comprehensive.
The SSILA site also includes a list of recent dissertations on Native American languages, including short abstracts. You can also locate dissertations by examining Dissertation Abstracts International (DAI) at a reference library. Dissertations are seldom published and those that are are seldom long in print, but you can order copies through University Microfilms International (UMI), currently part of ProQuest, but back to answering to the name UMI. UMI takes orders by mail or over the Web. To do this you need the UMI Publication Number, which can be gotten by searching that SSILA list or by going to a library and checking DAI.
The standard bibliographies for Siouan are:
There is now a bibliography of the Siouan languages on the Web, prepared by John Boyle.
See also the Web index of publications of the Bureau of American Ethnology.
You are the 14554th visitor since this subpage was created 06/02/01.
Copyright © John E. Koontz. All rights reserved.