|Regions with significant populations|
|Traditional tribal religion,|
|Related ethnic groups|
Ynezeño, Purismeño, Obiseño
The Chumash are a
The Chumash resided between the
The interior is composed of the land outside the coast and spanning the wide
All of the California coastal-interior has a
With coasts populated by masses of species of fish and land densely covered by trees and animals, the Chumash had a diverse array of food. Abundant resources and a winter rarely harsh enough to cause concern meant the tribe lived a sedentary lifestyle in addition to a subsistence existence. Villages in the three aforementioned areas contained remains of sea
The closer a village was to the ocean, the greater its reliance on maritime resources. Due to advanced canoe designs, coastal and island people could procure fish and aquatic mammals from farther out. Shellfish were a good source of nutrition: relatively easy to find and abundant. Many of the favored varieties grew in tidal zones. Shellfish grew in abundance during winter to early spring; their proximity to shore made collection easier. Some of the consumed species included mussels, abalone, and a wide array of clams.
Ocean animals such as otters and seals were thought to be the primary meal of coastal tribes people, but recent evidence shows the aforementioned trade networks exchanged oceanic animals for terrestrial foods from the interior. Any village could acquire fish, but the coastal and island communities specialized in catching not just smaller fish, but also the massive catches such as swordfish. This feat, difficult even for today’s technology, was made possible by the
Before contact with Europeans, coastal Chumash relied less on terrestrial resources than they did on maritime; vice versa for interior Chumash. Regardless, they consumed similar land resources. Like many other tribes, deer were the most important land mammal the Chumash pursued; deer were consumed in varying amounts across all regions, which cannot be said for other terrestrial animals. Interior Chumash placed greater value on the deer, to the extent that they had unique hunting practices for them. They dressed as deer and grazed alongside the animals until the hunters were in range to use their arrows. Even Chumash close to the ocean pursued deer, though in understandably fewer numbers, and what more meat the villages needed they acquired from smaller animals such as rabbits and birds.
Plant foods composed the rest of Chumash diet, especially acorns, which were the staple food despite the work needed to remove their inherent toxins. They could be ground into a paste that was easy to eat and store for years. Coast live oak provided the best acorns; their mush would be served usually unseasoned with meat and/or fish.
Native Americans have lived along the California coast for at least 13,000 years. The first settlement started over 13,000 years ago near the Santa Barbara coast. The name Chumash means “bead maker” or “seashell people” being that they originated near the Santa Barbara coast. The Chumash tribes near the coast benefited most with the “close juxtaposition of a variety or marine and terrestrial habitats, intensive upwelling in coastal waters, and intentional burning of the landscape made the Santa Barbara Channel region one of the most resource abundant places on the planet”. Before the mission period, the Chumash lived in over 150 independent villages, speaking variations of the same language.
Much of their culture consisted of basketry, bead manufacturing and trading, cuisine of local abalone and clam,
Europeans first visited the Chumash in 1542. They were met by sailing vessels under the command of Juan Cabrillo.[
It is believed that much of the Chumash’s population was diminished due to Old World diseases brought over by the Europeans. The settlement of the Spanish may have also devastated the Chumash culture. Though other sources also cite the Spanish keeping good faith with the Chumash, sharing knowledge and various productive techniques with them. It is also believed that the Chumash simply disappeared as a result of displacement; due to lack of centralized population, which in turn lowers reproduction, or birth rates.
The Chumash reservation, established in 1901, encompasses 127 acres. No native Chumash speak their own language since Inesño, whose last speaker died in 1965. Today, the Chumash are estimated to have a population of 5,000 members. Many current members can trace their ancestors to the five islands of Channel Island National Park.