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Patterns of Chumash Names


Not unlike other researchers interested in the Chumash, I too had taken Chumash surnames for granted, but then I began to ask the above questions, searching lists of names for patterns and latent meanings, although only taking a cursory look into the problem. The results of this initial study are the subject of this paper. My findings are not offered as "final," but rather "indicative" in that I have not attempted a comprehensive analysis. I present them here, however, because of three reasons I consider to be important in California Indian studies: (1) they provide some indication as to how Chumash personal names were derived in aboriginal times; (2) they offer important insights into the post-Mission period of acculturation (1830's-1870's), a subject about which we currently know little (Blackburn 1975:4); and (3) the patterns by which post-Mission Hispanic names were derived have applicability for other Mission Indian peoples in California—something which I hope my fellow researchers will find of interest.

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