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National Geographic People of the World

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From the heart of National Geographic comes this expansive guide to the clans, tribes, ethnicities, and peoples of the world. Organized in keeping with our knowledge of the migration of human groups through history, with statistics and a cultural portrait of each ethnic group, the book becomes a fascinating round-the-world tour of customs and traditions plus a go-to source for background information to round out one’s own family history.

From the Tuvans of Siberia to the Samoans and Tahitians of Polynesia, from the Mapuche of Chile to the Sami of Scandinavia, 222 of the world’s 10,000-plus ethnic groups are featured. Some were chosen because of their commonality as ancestors to many; others were chosen because their numbers are dwindling, and soon their cultures may become extinct. Maps, photographs, and traditional sayings enhance the accounts of many of the most important and interesting cultures in the world today.


  • Hardcover
  • 384 pages; 325 color photographs
  • 7 5/8" x 9 3/4"
  • © 2016

Author Bio

Catherine Herbert Howell has conducted field research among urban women in India and among Indian immigrants in New York City. A former National Geographic staff member, she has authored a dozen publications and has contributed to dozens more, including previous editions of Peoples of the World, Wonders of the Ancient World, and the Expeditions Atlas. She was also the editor of Out of Ireland, a companion volume to the PBS documentary. She lives in Arlington, Virginia.

K. David Harrison is a linguist and anthropologist specializing in endangered languages, and is co-founder of the Living Tongues Institute for Endangered Languages. He has conducted field research in numerous countries where cultures are threatened by globalization. His book The Last Speakers: The Quest to Save the World’s Most Endangered Languages explores the consequences of language loss and efforts at revitalization. He lives in Philadelphia and teaches at Swarthmore College.

Spencer Wells is a geneticist, anthropologist, author, and entrepreneur. For more than a decade, he was an explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic Society and director of the Genographic Project, which analyzed DNA samples from hundreds of thousands of people to decipher how our ancestors populated the planet. Wells has appeared in numerous documentary films. His fieldwork has taken him to more than 90 countries, and he is the author of three books, The Journey of Man, Deep Ancestry, and Pandora’s Seed. He lives in Austin, Texas.