Flutes of Fire: Essays on California Indian Languages. By Leanne Hinton. Berkeley: Heyday Books, 1994. Index. Appendix. Bibliography. 265 pages. $18.00.
A scholarly but readable series of essays on the 100 or more Indian languages that were spoken in California before the Spanish arrived. Special emphasis on gender based language, counting systems, ancient folklore. Many sections refer to the Diegueno peoples of San Diego region, their songs, legends and other linguistic traits. The author concludes with observations on the problems in keeping the Indian languages alive.