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A Mission Record of the California Indians, by A.L. Kroeber, [1908], at

Santa Barbara36

They bury the dead with all their pots and other poor jewels. 37

p. 16

They do not have chiefs (caziques), but in every village or town there are one or more who are called captains (capitanes). Not, however, that they have any authority over the rest, nor do these obey them or recognize them in any matter. Only he [is chief] who has charge of gathering the people when there is a prospect of a fight with another village, and to said chiefs the rest give beads at the dances or feasts which they sometimes make.


15:36 With Santa Barbara the Shoshoneans are left behind, and the territory of the Chumash is entered. The missions of Santa Ynez and San Luis Obispo, as well as those of San Buenaventura and Purisima which are not here represented, were also in Chumash territory, and recruited chiefly from the Chumash Indians of the mainland and of the northern Santa Barbara islands. The fathers of Santa Barbara about the time this report was written were Luis Gil y Taboada and Marcos Amestoy.

15:37 This is the first mission we have encountered where burial is the native mode of disposal of the dead. The practice continues as far as San Luis Obispo, after which cremation is again in practice as far as San Francisco, and in fact to the north of it beyond the sphere of mission influence. It is accordingly evident that the custom of cremation was distinctive of the Indians in the mission portion of the California coast, except only the Chu-mash. Archaeological investigations confirm the statements of early eyewitnesses. Numerous graves have been found in the Chumash region, but scarcely any in the regions to the north and south; except in certain layers of the shellmounds bordering San Francisco bay, in which region both cremation and burial seem to have been practised according to circumstances or period.—By "pots" are meant steatite vessels, not pottery, which has not been found so far north on the coast. The same explanation may apply to the "pots" mentioned above by the San Fernando informant.

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