Flutes of Fire: Essays on California Indian Languages
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.