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Chumash

The Chumash Indians, a Native American tribe, mainly inhabited the southern coastal regions of California. Estimates of their population range from 10,000-20,000 before contact with Spanish settlers in Mexico, though the population had apparently been devastated by disease prior to that. By 1900, this population had declined to just 200, though there are now some 5,000 people who identify themselves as Chumash.

The Chumash were hunter-gatherers, who specialized in fishing. Some settlements built plank canoes called tomols, which could even be used for whaling. Remains of a developed Chumash culture, including rock paintings apparently depicting the Chumash cosmology, can still be seen.



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