- Santa Barbara, Latham in Trans. Philolog. Soc., Lond., 85,
1856 (includes Santa Barbara, Santa Inez, San Luis Obispo
languages). Buschmann, Spuren der aztek. Sprache, 531, 535, 538,
602, 1859. Latham, Opuscula, 351, 1860. Powell in Cont. N.A.
Eth., III, 550, 567, 1877 (Kasuá, Santa Inez, Id. of Santa Cruz,
Santa Barbara). Gatschet in U.S. Geog. Surv. W. 100th M., VII,
419, 1879 (cites La Purísima, Santa Inez, Santa Barbara, Kasuá,
Mugu, Santa Cruz Id.).
- Santa Barbara, Gatschet in Mag. Am. Hist., 156, 1877 (Santa
Inez, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz Id., San Luis Obispo, San
Chumash, the name of the Santa Rosa Islanders.
The several dialects of this family have long been known under the
group or family name, “Santa Barbara,” which seems first to have
been used in a comprehensive sense by Latham in 1856, who included
under it three languages, viz: Santa Barbara, Santa Inez, and San
Luis Obispo. The term has no special pertinence as a family
designation, except from the fact that the
Santa Barbara Mission, around which one of the dialects of the
family was spoken, is perhaps more widely known than any of the
others. Nevertheless, as it is the family name first applied to the
group and has, moreover, passed into current use its claim to
recognition would not be questioned were it not a compound name.
Under the rule adopted the latter fact necessitates its rejection.
As a suitable substitute the term
Chumashan is here adopted. Chumash is the name of the Santa Rosa
Islanders, who spoke a dialect of this stock, and is a term widely
known among the Indians of this family.
The Indians of this family lived in villages, the villages as a
whole apparently having no political connection, and hence there
appears to have been no appellation in use among them to designate
themselves as a whole people.
Dialects of this language were spoken at the Missions of
San Buenaventura, Santa Barbara,
Santa Iñez, Purísima, and
San Luis Obispo. Kindred dialects were spoken also upon the
Islands of Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz, and also, probably, upon such
other of the Santa Barbara Islands as formerly were permanently
These dialects collectively form a remarkably homogeneous family,
all of them, with the exception of the San Luis Obispo, being
closely related and containing very many words in common.
Vocabularies representing six dialects of the language are in
possession of the Bureau of Ethnology.
The inland limits of this family can not be exactly defined,
although a list of more than one hundred villages with their sites,
obtained by Mr. Henshaw in 1884, shows that the tribes were
essentially maritime and were closely confined to the coast.
Population.—In 1884 Mr. Henshaw
visited the several counties formerly inhabited by the populous
tribes of this family and discovered that about forty men, women,
and children survived. The adults still speak their old language
when conversing with each other, though on other occasions they use
Spanish. The largest settlement is at San Buenaventura, where
perhaps 20 individuals live near the outskirts of the town.
Indian Linguistic Families of America North of Mexico, 1891