Nakia Zavalla: Learning Chumash history from Maria Solares

"One of the many connections that unite members of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians is our love of the land. Our tribe’s cultural and spiritual ties to the valley and the greater region date from time immemorial.

We were raised hearing stories told by our parents and grandparents about those who came before us and about places where our ancestors lived, worked and traveled for countless generations.

One project of our tribal government involves documenting the wealth of historical material left behind by Maria Solares, a tribal member born in 1842. She’s responsible for much of what we know today about our Samala language.

As I noted in my last column, we are at work on a two-volume set titled “Hearing Maria Solares.” It is a project of the Elders Council, a division of our tribal government that has a responsibility to protect and preserve the tribe’s cultural resources. The volumes will be more than 700 pages and include traditional stories, songs and place names."

Get the Story:
Nakia Zavalla: Maria Solares’ journey reveals much about her life (The Solvang Valley News 2/16)

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