California is a land of varied landscapes, climates, and cultures. Before Europeans arrived in North America, more than twenty independent American Indian groups lived in this region. Their cultures were as diverse as the areas they called home. Along the coast, in the mountains, and in the desert, these nations developed ways of life shaped by their surroundings. Every fall, the Miwok gathered acorns for food. They held a special festival to celebrate the harvest. The Cahuilla held bird song ceremonies that lasted for days. Birds are said to tell the people's history through their singing. The Yurok used mollusk shells called dentalia as money. Many twenty-first century American Indians still call California home. Find out what these nations have in common and what makes each of them unique. --Amazon.