First Families: A Photographic History of California Indians by L. FrankIn this book, the authors explain that they asked Indian people all over California if they would be willing to talk about their family photo albums. They traveled to families who agreed to meet with them and then pretty much just listened as they spoke about their photos. The pictures go back to the 1800s, and as I was reading I definitely had a sense of sweeping through history. I also sometimes had the odd sensation that I was sitting on the couch in someone’s living room while people took me through their family album, because it definitely has that feel too. So it’s a book about history, but at a very personal level. The authors give some background to provide context for many of the photos, but the book is about families and communities, and you see people with their spouses, and children, and uncles, and friends, and grandmothers, or just alone at some time in their lives. The authors say that a surprising number of the families they contacted didn’t actually have a lot of family photos, because they lost them to brush fires which were common in many of the remote locations where they were consigned on reservations and rancherias. They succeeded in collecting a large set, though, and this is a really beautiful collection.
First Families a Photographic History of California Indians
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Adair's History of the American Indians. First Families by L. Frank; L. Frank Manriquez; Kim Hogeland. Be the first to write a review. Skip to main content.
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When L. Frank and Marina Drummer went on the road in , they set out to visit as many people from different California tribes as possible. Crisscrossing the state, they taped hundreds of hours of interviews and collected copies of nearly fifteen hundred family photos. In turns moody, beautiful, warm, and humorous, First Families is a one-of-a-kind book that combines extremely personal images with text that gives readers a broader, deeper view of Indian history and many complex living cultures. A cultural activist, she is one of the founding board members of the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival. Kim Hogeland has an M.
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