The Spanish originally established the Santa Barbara Mission to make contact with the Chumash people—California natives who lived along the coast between Malibu and San Luis Obispo. The Chumash were skilled artisans, hunters, gatherers, and seafarers, but had no formal agricultural system.
The Chumash People The Chumash Indian homeland lies along the coast of California, between Malibu and Paso Robles, as well as on the Northern Channel Islands. Before the Mission Period, the Chumash lived in 150 independent towns and villages with a total population of at least 25,000 people.
The 1824 Chumash uprising against three Franciscan missions in the central section of the California chain—Santa Inés, La Purísima Concepción, and Santa Bárbara—was the largest organized revolt in the history of the Alta California missions. The Chumash burned most of the Santa Inés mission complex.
In California, the Mexican government frees the Chumash, who had been enslaved by the Spanish in California for 65 years. Although Mexico privatizes lands that Spain had taken for missions and promises to return them to the Chumash, instead it gives land grants to families of Spanish descent and sells off large tracts.
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 Islands National Park.
Old Mission Santa Ines was the nineteenth of the 21 missions built in California from 1769 to 1836 by Spanish Franciscan priests led by Father Junipero Serra. The Mission was founded on September 17, 1804 by Father Estevan Tapis, it was the first European settlement in the Santa Ynez Valley.
Unfortunately, in the 1780s the Spanish returned. Over the next few years, the Spanish killed the Chumash in many ways such as stealing their land, forcing them to be part of the mission system, destroying their natural way of life and spreading diseases.
Our boats – canoes, called tomols – enabled abundant fishing and trade, traveling up and down the coast to other villages. Tomols are usually constructed from redwood or pine logs. Chumash people were not dependent upon farming, as were other Native American tribes.
1542: The Chumash are the first California tribe to encounter Europeans. 1772: The first of the Spanish Catholic missions in Chumash territory is built at San Luis Obispo.
Mission Santa Inés is a former Spanish mission in Solvang, California. It was the 19th of California’s 21 missions. Its full name was Santa Inés Virgen y Martir. The mission was named for Saint Agnes, a martyr of the early Christian church.
The Mission’s lavandería was constructed by the Chumash Indians around 1806. Rose garden in Mission Park. Mission Santa Barbara cemetery. Over 4000 Chumash Indians were buried here.
The Chumash made great use of the abundant natural resources at their disposal. Their diet was rich in acorn meal, fish and shellfish, elderberry, bulbs, roots, and mustard greens. Their domed homes, called aps, were made with willow poles and tule rush.
Two Chumash men were killed and four Mexican soldiers were wounded here in Santa Barbara. The causes of the revolt were complex. Mexico had just gained independence from Spain, and had declared that there was no longer a legal distinction between racial groups. Gone were the days of the Casta system.
Chumash, any of several related North American Indian groups speaking a Hokan language. They originally lived in what are now the California coastlands and adjacent inland areas from Malibu northward to Estero Bay, and on the three northern Channel Islands off Santa Barbara.
Kenneth Kahn, tribal leader of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, talks about progress of the tribe and tribal leaders’ goals.