Chumashan Family

Chumashan Family. A linguistic family on the coast of south California, known also as Santa Barbara Indians. Like most Californian aborigines, they appear to have lacked an appellation of general significance, and the term Chumash, the name of the Santa Rosa islanders, is arbitrarily chosen for convenience to designate the linguistic stock. Seven dialects of

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Chumash Indians

The Chumash Indians, initially known as the Santa Rosa islanders and often referred to as the Santa Barbara Indians, are part of the larger Hokan linguistic family. They inhabited the northern islands of the Santa Barbara group and the coastal regions from Malibu Canyon to Estero Bay, extending inland to the coastal ranges. The Chumash were divided into several subdivisions, including the Barbarefio, Cuyama, Emigdiano, Island, Obispefio, Purisimeiio, Santa Ynez, and Venturefio Chumash, each occupying distinct territories. Numerous villages, such as A’hwai, Ala-hulapun, and A’ash, among many others, were scattered across these regions. Historical estimates of the Chumash population in 1770 place it at around 10,000, but by the early 20th century, their numbers had dramatically dwindled, with only 38 individuals recorded in the 1910 census and 14 in 1930.

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