The Chumash Tribe of the California Coast translates directly as ‘the seashell people.’ They are known as one of the oldest tribes in North America, where their bones found to date being about 13,000 years old.

Chumash life consisted of plank making for boat and fishing excursions, making beads out of seashells that acted as their form of currency, and weaving baskets and nets made from the local plants and trees. They made their houses from willow and oak tree poles that would take a dome shape, then over it with soil and grass to seal in proper protection.

Photo by Azraq Al Rezoan on

The Chumash had abundant spiritual lives that communicated their celebration of life through pictographs and petroglyphs, bright songs, expressive story-like dances, and well-known legends.

On popular Chumash legend is that a man that was trying to cross a rainbow accidentally fell into the ocean, and immediately became a dolphin.

You can say hello in Chumash language by simple saying, ‘O’siyo.’ As you can imagine, their nutrition came from fishing off the coast and living off the fruits, trees, and bushes off of the coastal land. They sustained their diets by eating an abundance of fish, mussels, clams, oysters, and seals. As you can imagine, the land had natural things to eat such as roots, vegetables, hazel nuts, acorns, mushrooms, and grasses. The neighboring land had deer, elk, rabbits, squirrels, quail, mountain sheep and bear.

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on

Early tools were made out of wood and rock, where they were carving tools such as spears.

If you walk the coastal mountains, trails, and hills, you will find their essence still remains.

Have you been to the California coast?

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