Th e Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life, Second Edition, contains over 500 articles exploring the ways of life of peoples of the world. Arranged in fi ve volumes by geographic regions—Africa, Americas, Asia & Oceania (two volumes), and Europe—the volumes of this encyclopedia parallel the organization of its sister set, the Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations. Whereas the primary purpose of Nations is to provide information on the world’s nation states, this encyclopedia focuses on the traditions, living conditions, and personalities of many of the world’s culture groups. Entries emphasize how people live today, rather than how they lived in the past.
Defining groups for inclusion was not an easy task. Cultural identity can be shaped by such factors as geography, nationality, ethnicity, race, language, and religion. Many people, in fact, legitimately belong in two or more classifi cations, each as valid as the other. For example, the citizens of the United States all share traits that make them distinctly American. However, few would deny the need for separate articles on Native Americans or African Americans. Even the category Native American denies the individuality of separate tribes like the Navajo and Paiute.
Consequently, this encyclopedia contains an article on the Americans as well as separate articles on the Native Americans and the Navajo. Closely related articles such as these are crossreferenced to each other to help provide a more complete picture of the group being profi led. Included in this encyclopedia are articles on groups as large as the Han of China, with over one billion members, and as small as the Jews of Cochin, with only a few dozen members. Unfortunately, although the vast majority of the world’s peoples are represented in this encyclopedia, time and space constraints prevented many important groups from being included in the fi rst edition. Twenty-three new groups have been added to this second edition, and the editors look forward to including many more culture groups in future editions of this work.
New entries include in Americas: Sudanese Americans (“Lost Boys”); in Africa: Afar, Berbers, Ewe, Guineas of Guinea Bissau, Jola, Maldivians, San (Bushmen), Sao Tomeans, and Twa; in Asia and Oceania: Brunei, Coptic Christians, Kashmiris, Moro, Rajasthanis, and Timorese; and in Europe: Alsatians, Kosovars, Maltese, Montenegrins, Serbs, Tyrolese, and Vlachs.
Over 175 contributors and reviewers participated in the creation of this encyclopedia. Drawn from universities, consulates, and the press, their in-depth knowledge and fi rst-hand experience of the profi led groups added signifi cantly to thecontent of the articles. A complete listing of the contributors and reviewers together with their affi liations appears in the front of each volume.