Before outsiders arrived, about one hundred distinct Indigenous languages were spoken in California, and many of them are in use today. Since its original publication in 1994, Flutes of Fire has become one of the classic books about California’s many Native languages. It is written to be approachable, entertaining, and informative—useful for people doing language revitalization work in their own communities, for linguists, and for a general readership interested in California’s rich cultural heritage. With significant updates by the author, this is the first new edition of Flutes of Fire in over 25 years. New chapters highlight the exciting efforts of language activists in recent times, as well as contemporary writing in several of California’s Native languages. Both a practical guide and a joy to read, Flutes of Fire is an essential book for anyone who cares about the Indigenous languages of California and their flourishing for many generations to come.
Leanne Hinton is professor emerita of linguistics at UC Berkeley, and she has worked closely with many Native communities on language learning and research, particularly in California. She is a founding member of the Advocates for Indigenous California Language Survival and its biennial Breath of Life workshop. For her advocacy she has received numerous honours, including a Cultural Freedom Award from the Lannan Foundation and an Honoured One Award from the Association of Tribal Archives,Libraries, and Museums. This book contains b&w photos, maps, and charts.