The author, who is chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, considers the diversity of beliefs and cultural practices of Native Californians. What all tribes share is a tie to a specific landscape and a brutal European colonization that worked to break that tie. Sarris discusses ways that native Californians have found ways to once again strengthen those ties, such as the Bole Maru, or Dream Dance. The religion contains elements of older beliefs and ceremonies, but increasingly puts more stress on the afterlife.

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