"Earth Pigments and Paint of the California Indians: Meaning and Technology" by Paul Douglas Campbell

Webmaster's forward:

Picture Anglo researcher and book author Paul Campbell high on a wilderness Sierra Juárez desert mountain range eating fresh-killed woodrat that were hunted, flushed from their hiding places and roasted over a make-shift Indian fire by Sam Ochurte, a traditional Kiliwa Indian from northern Baja California, Mexico.

Picture that scene and appreciate a dedicated field researcher, a very smart man with a life-long passion to learn about California Indian peoples and document their traditional ways in books.

I met Paul a few years back through a mutual friend and became familiar with his book "Survival Skills of Native California." I quickly grasped the importance of his work while reading this critically acclaimed book about ancient California Indian survival methods.

I will let Paul Campbell's work speak for itself, but I will add what makes his work special are the personal relationships he established with many, many traditional tribal elders and the trust and friendships he maintained with them in documenting and telling the historical California Indian story through their own words.

Nearly as important to Paul's distinctive editorial style are the trust and respect he's earned working with many of the top Native American Indian museums and institutions in North America, including The Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology at UC Berkeley, the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) in Washington, D.C.

Paul's personal field notes, exclusive photography, exhaustive research and follow through to highly-detailed books make his books the bibles of research on Native California aboriginal peoples.

Particularly impressive to me:

Paul bought a new computer and reference monitor for this book to scan and color balance his photographs. He also bought the Adobe desktop publishing software to layout the book. He self-studied and took adult classes to learn how to use it all, and then he self-published his earth pigments book. Paul even traveled to China to personally oversee the printing process because he wanted to maintain the highest color reproduction standards possible!

To sum my review up:

Here we have one of the top experts on California Indians in the field who painstakingly scoured the top Indian museums, the best private collections, the mountains of previously-published historical research, the scattered most remote Indigenous sites of California and Baja California, Mexico -- and then he picked the best and most interesting areas to document, research, interview, photograph, write about and then presented in great academic detail.

Thank you, Paul, well done!

California Indian BOOK REVIEW:

Earth Pigments and Paint of the California Indians: Meaning and Technology is a 224-page, hardback research book by Paul Douglas Campbell that contains some 295 full-color and sepia historical Native American California Indian pictures and maps about Indigenous Americans in the 1800s, 1900s, with authentic body painting, face painting, including California prehistoric cave art...


Product Details:
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Sunbelt Publications; 1st edition (November 11, 2007)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0979378001
ISBN-13: 978-0979378003
Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds

You may also be interested in Paul Campbell's previous book:

BUY THIS BOOK NOW on Photos and text courtesy of Paul D. Campbell, author of SURVIVAL SKILLS OF NATIVE CALIFORNIA. Paul's book features living (and deceased) Native American California Indigenous people of the greater San Diego area, and details their traditional weapons used for hunting and aboriginal survival methods.

Page under creation...


The Search for Blood-Red Earth

The California Palette

Antiquity and Overview
Red and Yellow
Green and Blue
Endless Color: Organic Sources of Pigments

Refining Raw Material

Containers of Pigment and Paint

Making Paint: Binders

Applying Paint: Brushes

Painted Surfaces, Spiritual Power

A Portfolio of Painted Indians
Face and Body Paint
A Color Catalogue of Face Paint Designs
Painted Objects
Rock Paintings
Ground Paintings


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