Opinion: Chumash Tribe wrongly claims woman as ancestor

"The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians herald Maria Solares as a tribal member, but the historical record says otherwise.

Historically, a “Chumash” Indian tribe never existed. Both the archaeological and historical record affirms this. Chumash was or is an Indian language group. This language was spoken in numerous small independent villages in the region.

Santa Ynez emerged not out of a tribe or even a particular Chumash-speaking village, but from a Mission Indian community of Christian converts.

In 1901 the Santa Ynez Indian community consisted of “... the said five above named families, members of the Santa Ynez band or village of Mission Indians … That this band of Indians … have abandoned for many years all tribal relation, that they have no officers and they each act the one independent of the other, and have never been under the control of the Indian Agents of the State of California.”"

Get the Story:
James Lynch: Maria Solares a dilemma for Chumash (The Solvang Valley News 3/15)

Related Stories:
Nakia Zavalla: Learning Chumash history from Maria Solares (2/16)

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