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Research Papers on the Chumash Indians

United States History courses must include study of the diverse Native American populations in the nation. Paper Masters has written many research papers on the Chumash Indians and our writers understand their history as an indigenous, hunter-gatherer society.

Chumash Indians research paper due and don’t know how to start it? How about like this?

California region Paleo Indian lifeways began to diversify during the Archaic, as wooly mammoths and other mega-fauna died out during environmental pressures resulting from a period of rapid global warming, and a culture shift toward exploitation of a broader range of resources took place. Small hunting and gathering bands roamed and returned to established camps as they traveled on seasonal rounds, exploiting resources at optimum harvest times. Chumash IndiansBy the end of the Archaic, the California regional population approached perhaps 25,000 people that could be characterized as hunter-gatherers, a group whose evolution to complexity is the subject of this paper, with the Chumash as the focus of specific discussion.

The Chumash Indians - Hunters and Gatherers

anthropological construct "hunter-gatherer" has been subject to frequent redefinition over the last 80 years as knowledge of individual groups has been acquired and examined and anthropological categorizations have become less idealized and Eurocentric. The early ideal of an egalitarian, mobile, peaceful group living in ecological harmony has been proven erroneous time and again, while an extremely wide expression of traits have been noted in recent years among foraging groups that were once thought to share a simply defined list of characteristics.

The Shoshoni of the Great Basin, the Australian Aborigines, the Kung San of the Kalahari are only a few examples of hunter-gatherer groups whose traits defy homogeneous description and theoretical explanations. For example, the characteristic of sharing has been noted to be avoided in some cases, such as when scavenger or destitute members attempt to coerce food from Aborigines; embraced in other cases for its "show off" value among northwest coast people and redefined as an "exchange" in still others.

Chumash Indians Traits

Yet, there are still some features that are common to a hunter-gatherer society. They are:

  1. A general absence of possession accumulation
  2. Routine food sharing
  3. Egalitarianism
  4. A usual division of labor between male and female foraging activities, with women more commonly gathering than hunting.

To those might be added frequent relocation (which definition includes seasonal rounds with frequent returns to previous sites); low inter-group violence and lethal warfare; the use of foodstuffs, rather than money, in exchanges as a means of establishing and fulfilling reciprocal relations, and a non-hierarchical sociopolitical organization.      

Explanations, theories, and exceptions to each of these traits representing culture choices are cited and discussed at length in the literature, but for our purposes, it is sufficient to state that there are still disagreements over the definitions of simple hunter-gatherers and the persistence and meaning of certain traits seen in foragers, such as the division of labor by sex. What is apparent is that some hunter-gatherer societies described as "simple", which is not to say that they are unsophisticated, evolved into, or have been re-assessed as, "complex hunter-gatherer societies". Among them are the southern California Coastal Chumash.

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