Flutes of Fire: Essays on California Indian Languages

Unique ways of understanding the world

Before outsiders arrived, about 100 distinct Indian languages were spoken in California, many of them alive today. Each of these languages represents a unique way of understanding the world and expressing that understanding.

Flutes of Fire examines many different aspects of Indian languages: languages, such as Yana, in which men and women have markedly different ways of speaking; ingenious ways used in each language for counting. Hinton discusses how language can retain evidence of ancient migrations, and addresses what different groups are doing to keep languages alive and pass them down to the younger generations.

Reviews

“This is a wonderful book...well written, well edited, and full of useful information. Once begun, it is hard to put down.”

American Indian Culture and Research Journal

 

“Succeeds admirably in bridging popular writing and academic scholarship.”

American Anthropologist

About the Author

Leanne HintonLeanne Hinton is professor emerita at the University of California, Berkeley, and a founding member of the board of the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival. She has authored many articles and several books on language revitalization, including Flutes of Fire: Essays on California Indian Languages; The Green Book of Language Revitalization in Practice (edited with Ken Hale); and How to Keep Your Language Alive: A Guide to One-on-One Language  (with Matt Vera and Nancy Steele). She has worked with AICLS to develop and implement the Master-Apprentice Language Learning Program and the Breath of Life Language Workshops, both of which have expanded throughout the US and internationally. In 2005 she received the Cultural Freedom Award from the Lannan Foundation for her work on the revitalization of endangered languages. Leanne lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband, Gary Scott, and delights in family time with their four children and seven grandchildren.