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tv   Chumash Indians of Santa Barbara  CSPAN  February 14, 2016 5:50pm-6:01pm EST

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[captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> president's day on american history tv's real america. the vietnam history 50 years later. 1966, the senate foreign relations committee. he gives equal time to critics of the war and members of the johnson administration in hearings televised live to the nation. that is monday, february 15 at 8:00 a.m. and it the emmys time -- and 8:00 p.m. eastern time. only on c-span3. year we are exploring american history. next, look the recent visit to santa barbara, california. you are watching american history tv all weekend, every weekend on c-span3. john: we have the oldest dated human skeletal remains in north america.
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these bones of this agent -- ancient individual date back 13,000 years and were found off our coast, santa rosa island. in 1959, a curator here at our museum, an archaeologist found a human femur buried 37 feet below the existing ground service at the sidewall of arlington canyon, a place called arlington springs. so, arlington springs man, we have now done modern radiocarbon dating, indicating that is a little over 13,000 years old. the oldest dated skeletal remains in north america. some people ask the question, why do have native american culture in a natural history museum?
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we think it is actually important to include people as part of nature, that people have been living here before the coming of europeans, making use of their natural environment. they had perspectives on the natural environment. they had substance. they were making all of their tools. we want to study that, too. how did people for thousands of years make use of their natural environment. and because we are located in this part of california, we specialize in the chumash culture. and alcohol -- in our hall we show how culture changed through time, through different time periods, and then what was chumash culture like at the time that europeans first arrived here.
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from the time that spanish explorers first arrived, what they found was a thriving population with the largest towns being permanently inhabited along the coast. because people were living off of marine resources like fishing off the coast. in fact, this is the highest population density reached by any aboriginal group in california. right here in the santa barbara channel. if you look at north america generally, california also had a higher population density found in north america. what is interesting, these people lived entirely on hunting and gathering for subsistence. they did not practice agriculture here in native california. the name chumash originally was
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the name the indians had for the people of the islands, and it is related to the name for the bead money. it means something like "bead money makers." the only place in north america where beads became money, in fact the only place where true money existed north of mexico was here in california. and the main mint for making bead money was the chumash nation. they manufactured tiny shell be ads that were measured in a standardized way. so, they actually counted out and used beads as money in the same way that we use money and is the only place in north america where true money existed. the shell beads were made from a
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shell and they which about these chip outout these -- these little discs and drilled them with tiny micro drills, and it was really a household industry on the channel islands s that wouldng bead then be strong and too long strands and used as a form of money for people on the mainland. here in the santa barbara region, and used by the chumash indians and their neighbors to the south is the only place along the whole pacific coast of north america where both were -- boats were built from planks of wood. and what they would do would be take driftwood that would come on shore, logs, redwood that would flow down from northern california and they would split off these points of wood and drilled them along the edges and
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sew them together, sealing the seeds with tar they would mix with pine pitch for a good seal. these boats were very seaworthy and were used to go out fishing , very important for supporting the people with the amount of fish that were caught. between the trade mainland coast and the people of the channel islands. it's a very important part of their culture. the chumash indians were hunters and gatherers and they had finally woven baskets and carved wooden bowls. --y were very finally made finely made. one example we have in our collection was woven by native woman, chumash woman at the
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san buena ventura mission. she copied designs of spanish coins into the design of her basket. appreciated was so by the spanish governor of california that he had her weave a dedication into the rim of the basket and he gave it as a gift to a friend of his who was a general down in mexico. that basket has since been acquired by our museum and is now on exhibit in our hall here. the missions had two major impacts on chumash society. one was the fact that they brought grazing animals with them. as the herds of grazing animals grew, they ate the native plants upon which the chumash indians
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had relied upon for their seed crops. they would go out and gather wild seeds. and the grazing animals ate those. it caused a problem. if you're not practicing agriculture, where will you go to get your wild seed? that was one of the major impacts. there were environmental changes. the second thing is that they introduced diseases that arrived with europeans. the native population had no natural immunity to these. so you have a high mortality from measles, diphtheria, cholera, from other illnesses that came with the european culture and the european people. there was high mortality.
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by the end of the mission period there was maybe 10% of the people who had been here some 60, 70 years earlier. having these artifacts on exhibit helps educate people about the rich cultural heritage of the native people of this area, the chumash indians, and gives them an appreciation of their culture. what i hope also comes from this is how these people interacted with their environment. they did not impact the environment the way we are impacting it today. the population density was much lower than we have today. and one of the messages, i think we want to tell here at the museum is that we need to preserve this natural world and there are many useful things about it. many things that are important to our quality of life and that
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we need to think about that. whereas our place in the long period of time humans have been here, are we going to be proud of the legacy in the future? staff recently traveled to santa barbara, california to learn about its rich history. you can learn about santa barbara and other stops on our cities tour by going to www.c-span.org/citiestour. you're watching american history tv. all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. >> during campaign 2016, c-span takes you on the road to the thee house as we follow candidates on c-span, c-span radio, and www.c-span.org.

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