European Influences



The first Europeans to California arrived in 1542 (50 years after Columbus landed on the East coast islands of North America).  These visitors respected the Chumash and recognized them as a friendly people.  In fact, stories of Chumash singing their "Welcome Songs" exist in Captains' logs.  There was a little trade such as tools, pottery, baskets, weapons, etc...

Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, 1542

Sabastian Vizcaino, 1602

Don Gaspar de Portola, 1769

In 1772, the Spanish established a very ambitious plan and founded five missions.  The Chumash were baited with gifts.  The Christian Church claimed super natural powers and preyed on the deep religious beliefs of the Chumash.  Within a very short time, many of the Chumash had been captured, confined and enslaved.

Father Junipero Serra

These Chumash were Baptized, taught Christianity, clothed in European styles, and assigned trades.  The Chumash days were strictly work, prayer, and meals.


Farming     Near Extinction

The Americans



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