Long before Rhoda May and Frederick Rindge purchased Malibu Ranch from the original owners of the Spanish Land Grant in 1892, the Chumash people called Malibu home. Chumash artifacts have been found in the mountains above Malibu where “David Evans, The Edge,” drummer for U2, intends to build his cluster of mansions.
Chester King of Anthropological Consultants located and recorded numerous Native Chumash artifacts in December of 2014 on a field visit to the proposed development site of five luxury homes in the mountains above Malibu, California. The land is owned by David Evans, U2 guitarist also known as “The Edge.”
King has specialized in the study of archaeology and history of Native Americans in Southern California for more than fifty years. During his career, he has recorded many archaeological sites throughout the Santa Monica Mountains.
These stone artifacts are altered rocks that indicate the presence of a prehistoric archaeological site. A fragment indicates that it was probably an “Early Period Site,” thus most artifacts are expected to be buried as a result of soil development.
The Chumash people, who once numbered in the tens of thousands, lived along the coast of California. Their territory encompassed more than 7,000 square miles, spanning from the beaches of Malibu to Paso Robles, and inland to the western edge of the San Joaquin Valley.
They called themselves “the first people,” and pointed to the Pacific Ocean as their first home. Many elders today say that Chumash means “bead maker” or “seashell people.”
The Chumash Indians were prosperous because they used resources from both the land and the sea. They lived in large, dome-shaped homes made from willow branches with roofs made from tulle mats reinforced with whalebone. Up to 50 people could live in one house.
As with most Native American tribes, the Chumash history was passed down from generation to generation through stories and legends. Many of these stories were lost when the Chumash Indian population was all but decimated in the 1700s and 1800s by the Spanish mission system.
This brief piece from YouTube features beautiful Chumash music.
For detailed information, don’t miss this excellent “Overview of the History of American Indians in the Santa Monica Mountains,” available at Academia.edu.
Check out this Santa Ynez Chumash for more information on the history of the First People.
Visit Wishtoyo’s Chumash Discovery Village.
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