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CHUMASH INDIANS The Chumash Indians were natives to the coastlands in California from Malibu to Paso Robles as well as on all three of the Northern Channel Islands There were 150 independent villages with a total population of 18000 people People in the other regions spoke a little differently although the languages were similar The villages were made of ceremonial grounds semi subterranean sweathouses cleared playing fields storage huts and round thatched dwelling houses up to fifty feet in diameter and able to hold as many as seventy people Their homeland was first settled about 13000 years ago and with time the population got bigger so some of them started migrating to other coastlands of California With all these other villages they had access to different resources which they would trade with one another in different villages Some of the major groups were the Obispeo Purismeo Yneze Barbareo and Ventureo named after the Franciscan missions San Luis Obispo de Tolos a La Pursma Concepcin and Santa Ynez With all this trading going on among the Chumash villages it would have taken many days to travel by foot Living on the coastlands they invented a seagoing plank canoe or in their language a tomol They invented the canoe about 2000 years ago The plank canoe was anywhere from eight feet to thirty feet and was made from driftwood or redwood The sides of the plank canoe were about three to four planks high and was glued in place with yop a melted mixture of pine pitch and hardened asphalt After the glue was dried they drilled holes into the seams of each side and then tying the boards together with plant fiber string made from Indian hemp then the holes were filled up again with yop When the canoe was all put together they would sand it down using sandstone and then finished with sharkskin then the canoe was painted and decorated The plank canoes
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