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Religion and Healing in America$
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Linda L. Barnes and Susan S. Sered

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167962

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167962.001.0001

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The Gathering of Traditions: The Reciprocal Alliance of History, Ecology, Health, and Community among the Contemporary Chumash

The Gathering of Traditions: The Reciprocal Alliance of History, Ecology, Health, and Community among the Contemporary Chumash

Chapter:
(p.139) 8 The Gathering of Traditions: The Reciprocal Alliance of History, Ecology, Health, and Community among the Contemporary Chumash
Source:
Religion and Healing in America
Author(s):

Julianne Cordero

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167962.003.0009

Today, one of the most pernicious stumbling blocks on the path to greater individual and community health in Chumash country is an assumption held by many that (largely non-Indian) social scientists have the final say in what is “the correct interpretation” of the Californio and Chumash past, languages, and arts and the communities' present sense of identity as mixed-heritage Indian people. This chapter critiques previous historical analyses of written data on local Santa Barbara history and identifies those that have silenced the voices of non-academic Native and non-Native community members. It describes lessons learned from indigenous “texts”, such as plants and translations of particular Barbareño Chumash verb forms, including the action words most closely approximating words for “health” and “power”. Finally, it describes a living practice that transcends previous attempts by anthropologists and others to naysay contemporary Californio/Chumash cultural constructions of tradition, spirituality, and ethnic heritage. The exemplar chosen for the chapter's final section lies at the very heart of the coastal Chumash culture and spirit: the Chumash oceangoing canoe termed tomol.

Keywords:   Chumash, Santa Barbara, history, Californio, tomol, community health, power, spirituality, ethnic heritage

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