Learn about the history and culture of the Chumash Indians
The basic political unit within aboriginal Chumash society was a named town and its surrounding resource areas, and served as the basis by which an individual defined their social group. The towns were permanent in nature and lasted for hundreds of years. There were cases where towns would organize together into a federation directed by a particularly influential political leader. Trade, ceremonies held jointly, and intermarriage served to bond people from separate towns.
These settlements often covered wide areas of land that could be separated by sizable geographic features. The Chumash town of Humaliwo is known to have been located on a high point next to Malibu Lagoon and is part of the State Park. Humaliwo was an important center of Chumash life in this region in prehistoric and early historic times.
Research by Drs. Information on the names of Chumash towns has been obtained from the accounts of Spanish explorers, the archives of Spanish Missions, and early 20th century anthropology work.
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The aboriginal Chumash were characterized by a stratified social organization, where most social positions were attained at birth. The hereditary chief, known as Wot , played the role of central figure of authority.
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The chief managed food stores of the community as well as other objects of wealth, managed the territory, lead a town in war, and other role. The chief sometimes had more than one wife. His house would be larger than that of other members of the community. Marriages between important families of towns many miles apart produced kinship ties over long and disparate geographic areas. The Willows Server is responsible for taking guest orders and delivering accurate and Five Diamond guest service.
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