National Atlas, Indian tribes, cultures & languages
- William C. Sturtevant
Tribal distributions depicted on these maps (and on all other tribal maps covering a comparable area) are arbitrary at many points. Detailed knowledge of tribal areas was acquired at different times in different regions. For example, by the time knowledge was gained of the areas occupied by Plains tribes, many groups in the East had become extinct or had moved from their aboriginal locations. Some of these movements ultimately affected distributions on the Plains prior to reasonably detailed knowledge of Plains occupancy. Hence, it is not possible to approximate aboriginal areas of occupancy on a single map of continental scope. Furthermore, most groups did not occupy sharply defined areas, so that the delineation of territories is misleading.
Distributions were derived, with slight modifications, from Indian tribes of North America (Driver and others, 1953), and boundaries within California were simplified after Languages, territories, and names of California Indian tribes (Heizer, 1966). According to the authors of these publications, the boundaries shown are those of the mid-17th century in the Southeast and the eastern part of the Northeast, the late 17th and early 18th centuries farther west in the Northeast, the late 18th and early 19th centuries in the Plains, the late 18th century in California, and the middle-to-late 19th century elsewhere. Even so, many compromises had to be made.
Additional publication details
- Publication type:
- Publication Subtype:
- USGS Unnumbered Series
- National Atlas, Indian tribes, cultures & languages
- Year Published:
- U.S. Geological Survey
- 2 Plates: 13.85 x 18.01 inches and 27.81 x 18.54 inches
- Albers Equal Area