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Survival Skills of the North American Indians
Second Edition
by Peter Goodchild
Reviewed by Felicia Elpel

      Native Americans had to survive without the modern day conveniences that we take for granted. How did they do it? Peter Goodchild dives in and explains the methods that were used in his book Survival Skills of the North American Indians. It covers plants and animals used for food, many of the tools used and how they were made, hunting methods, shelters and more. He goes into depth on the methods used by the Natives all across North America from the seas to the plains and forests. The book includes fourteen chapters that explain how life was lived in all the climates of North America. Skills covered include: plant and animal food, tools and tool making, bows and arrows, traps and snares, fishing, shelters, clothing, medicine, transportation, fire, preparation of hides, cordage, baskets and pottery. Chicago Review Press. ISBN: 978-1556523458. 1984, 1999. 241 Pages.

Survival Skills of the North American Indians     $22.00     Quantity:

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Survival Arts of the Primitive Paiutes
by Margaret M. Wheat

      Those of us who desire to learn primitive skills are often stuck in the situation of "reinventing the wheel". Skills that were developed by native peoples over thousands of years were often reduced to cryptic notes in ethnographic works, such as "The pine nuts were harvested, roasted and hulled." We are left to trial and error to rediscover what was once well known.

      Originally published in 1967, Survival Arts of the Primitive Paiutes is a unique ethnographic work, because author Margaret M. Wheat provided step-by-step photo-documentation of key skills used by the Paiute Indians in the Great Basin Desert. These are real skills demonstrated by the people who once depended on them. Some of the skills covered include: harvesting and processing pine nuts, tule boats, duck decoys, cordage, harpoons, fishing and drying fish, deadfalls, rabbitskin blankets, clothes woven from sagebrush bark, tule baskets, split-willow work, cradleboards, tule and grass hut construction. Coverage of braintanning and arrow-making is more sketchy.

      Margaret M. Wheat spent twenty years gaining the acceptance of the elder Paiutes to record their skills and stories before they were lost forever. Survival Arts of the Primitive Paiutes is a classic and elegant work with stunning black and white photography. 117 pages. Cost: $20.00.

Survival Arts of the Primitive Paiutes    $20.00    Quantity:

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Survival Skills of Native California
by Paul D. Campbell
Reviewed by Thomas J. Elpel

      As an author I know what it is like to undertake a large-scale research and writing project. But even I am awed by the scale and scope of Paul Campbells incredible book Survival Skills of Native California. Through ethnographic studies, interviews of elder Indians and extensive replicative studies, Campbell has compiled the vast majority of the physical skills of survival used by California Indians, including fire-making, shelters, water collection & storage, travel, cordage, traps, digging sticks, acorns and other nuts, mortar and pestle, the soaproot brush, numerous basket types, pottery, key edible and useful plants, use of sugar and salt, seeds and seed beaters, netting, sanitation, wooden containers, clothing, rabbitskin blankets and elderberry bark shirts, yucca and rawhide sandals, moccasins, flutes, bow & arrow, atlatl and dart, knapping, glue, stalking, split-wood figures, rabbitsticks, slings, snowshoes, braintanning, insect harvesting and use, twined bags, war clubs, tule boats, fish traps and nets, harpoons and sea hunting, fish catching and preparation. Most of the skills covered include all the necessary how-to information to do it yourself. The book includes nearly 1,000 instructional illustrations.

      Paul Campbell is uniquely qualified to write this book from a lifelong passion for learning, practicing and writing about primitive survival skills. The breadth and depth of his experience shows through every page of the book. 448 pages. 1999. Cost: $40.00.

Survival Skills of Native California    $40.00 Quantity:

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