Californian Indian

Californian Indian
Any member of the various North American Indian peoples living in and around present-day California, U.S. Of the many Californian groups, most were composed of independent territorial and political units that were smaller than the average groupings of other North American Indians.

Food varied with the region inhabited (coastal peoples fished, desert peoples hunted and practiced marginal agriculture, etc.), as did style of housing. The peoples of California were politically stable, sedentary, and conservative and less in conflict with one another than was usually the case in other areas of North America; neighbouring groups often developed elaborate systems of economic exchange of goods and services. The Californian Indians reached peaks of cultural attainment rarely seen among peoples depending almost wholly for subsistence on hunting, fishing, and the gathering of wild plant foods. Californian Indians had a renowned oral literature, and Californian basketwork is considered exquisite. See also Modoc; Northwest Coast Indian; Pomo; Yuman.

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Universalium. 2010.

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