Richard Gomez: Chumash Tribe preserves the Samala language

"Our people’s native language — known as Samala — has a rhythm and sound to it that warms our hearts every time we hear it spoken and sung. It was not that long ago that the idea of tribal members once again conversing in Samala was thought to be only a dream — as ours was a language said to be “lost” to history.

But that was far from the truth. Samala was and is not lost. Instead, it’s making a comeback through a multi-pronged cultural and educational program of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. Today tribal members are speaking and singing in Samala, and we’ve only just begun.

The general public will get the opportunity to hear Samala in some scenes of an original play performed by tribal members at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s Fleischmann Auditorium on Sunday, Nov. 4. The two performances will be at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. (Go to www.sbnature.org/tickets for more information on the performances.)

The play also includes traditional stories and songs rarely heard outside of the Santa Ynez Chumash tribe."

Get the Story:
Richard Gomez: Chumash language goes to the next stage (The Solvang Valley News 10/25)

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