Few Indians living in 18th-century southern California knew as many villages and spoke as many dialects as Little Singer. While still very young, he displayed a natural ability for learning the songs of his people; by the time he was twelve, he was in great demand all over this region as a ceremonial singer. Village life, as Little Singer saw it, was much the same everywhere. The women gathered acorns and other edible plants, the men hunted and fished, and everyone faithfully observed the sacred ceremonies of the tribe and treasured its legends.
Little Singer's peaceful existence changed very suddenly when a Spanish expedition arrived at San Diego Bay in 1769. Now Indian life centered around the new Spanish missions, where the work was hard and the discipline strict. Through Little Singer's eyes, we follow the troubled history of these Indians up to 1846, when the United States gained control of California.
Sonia Bleeker has expertly combined Little Singer's moving personal story with the authentic description of an old way of life, and Althea Karr's illustrations lend added meaning and detail.
–From the dust jacket
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