Combining up-to-date information with extensive historical and cultural background, the encyclopedia covers approximately 150 groups arranged alphabetically. Each engaging entry offers a short introduction detailing names, population estimates, language, and religion. This is followed by a history of the group through the turn of the 19th century, with background on societal organization and culture and expanded information on language and religious beliefs. The last section of each entry discusses the group in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries, including information on its present situation.
Readers will also learn about demographic trends and major population centers, parallels with other groups, typical ways of life, and relations with neighbors. Major events and notable challenges are documented, as are key figures who played a significant political or cultural role in the group's history. Each entry also provides a list for further reading and research.