The Chumash

The Chumash were hunter-gatherers and were adept at fishing at the time ofSpanish colonization.  They are one of the relatively few New World peoples who regularly navigated the ocean.  Some settlements built plank boats called tomols, which facilitated the distribution of goods and could even be used for whaling. 

They were also skilled at making remarkable baskets, stone cookware, and shell beads.  Chumash settlements were scattered between the mountains and the sea, and the tribes traded between themselves and with outsiders. The Chumash had a tiered society, from manual laborers to skilled crafters, to the chiefs, and to the shaman priests. 

More to come...


Samala, a well-known shaman in Ventura County

Samala, a well-known shaman in Ventura County