Foundations of Chumash Complexity


Series: Perspectives in California Archaeology 7
ISBN: 978-1-931745-18-5
Publication Date: Jan 2005
Price: Hb $9.95, Pb $7.95, Ebook $25.00
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Jeanne E. Arnold

“The volume looks very good and represents a significant contribution toward California prehistory. The Cotsen Institute is to be commended for the quality of publications and for providing the means whereby these scholarly articles are available to other researchers and the public.”
  — Patricia Martz

This volume highlights the latest research on the foundations of sociopolitical complexity in coastal California. The populous maritime societies of southern California, particularly the groups known collectively as the Chumash, have gone largely unrecognized as prototypical complex hunter-gatherers, only recently beginning to emerge from the shadow of their more celebrated counterparts on the Northwest Coast of North America.Foundations of Chumash Complexity While Northwest cultures are renowned for such complex institutions as ceremonial potlatches, slavery, cedar plank-house villages, and rich artistic traditions, the Chumash are increasingly recognized as complex hunter-gatherers with a different set of organizational characteristics: ascribed chiefly leadership, a strong maritime economy based on oceangoing canoes, an integrative ceremonial system, and intensive and highly specialized craft production activities. Chumash sites provide some of the most robust data on these subjects available in the Americas. Contributors present stimulating new analyses of household and village organization, ceremonial specialists, craft specializations and settlement data, cultural transmission processes, bead manufacturing practices, watercraft, and the acquisition of prized marine species.

Table of Contents
  • Ch. 01: The Later Evolution of the Island Chumash by Jeanne E. Arnold and Anthony P. Graesch
  • Ch. 02: Identifying Complexity During the Early Prehistory of Santa Cruz Island, California by Michael A. Glassow
  • Ch. 03: Status and the Swordfish: The Origins of Large-Species Fishing Among the Chumash by Julienne Bernard
  • Ch. 04: The Role of Ritual Specialization In the Evolution of Prehistoric Chumash Complexity by Sandra E. Hollimon
  • Ch. 05: Chumash Bone Whistles: the Development of Ceremonial Integration in Chumash Society by Ray Corbett
  • Ch. 06: Cultural Transmission Processes and Change in Bead Types on Santa Cruz Island, California by Scott Pletka
  • Ch. 07: Social and Economic Dynamics on Late Holocene San Miguel Island, California by Torben C. Rick
  • Ch. 08: Quarries and Microblades: Trends in Prehistoric Land and Resource Use on Eastern Santa Cruz Island by Jennifer E. Perry
  • Ch. 09: Specialized Bead Making Among Island Chumash Households: Community Labor Organization During the Historic Period by Anthony P. Graesch
  • Ch. 10: Complex Hunter-Gatherers of the Southern California Coast: A View from One Thousand Miles North by Gary Coupland