Finding relevant books on a particular anthropology topic can be challenging. Understanding how to use subject terms (also known as subject headings) will be immensely helpful when searching for books. See the image below which highlights where subject terms are listed.
1) Identify the assigned name of the group or the place you are researching. This is the term used by the Library of Congress. For example, the subject term for the !Kung is "!Kung (African people)" and "Navajo Indians" is the assigned subject heading for the Navajo Nation. NOTE: Although Library of Congress subject headings do not always use the best or most current names and terms for Indigenous peoples, they remain the basis for how books are organized in most academic libraries. You can read more about problematic subject heading and the steps Miami is taking to address them here.
The most common subject heading subheading assigned to ethnographies is "social life and customs" but "case studies" and "ethnology" are other subheadings that may be applied. The most common subject headings for archeological study are "[Place Name] --antiquities" and "excavations (archaeology) - [place name]"
2) Once you have the correct name of the group, place or topic, search with that name and the subheading phrase. For example, search:
Navajo Indians social life and customs
Excavations (archaeology) Africa