Skip to main content
Cover for The Chumash World at European Contact

The Chumash World at European Contact

Power, Trade, and Feasting Among Complex Hunter-Gatherers

Lynn H. Gamble


List Price: 34.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (8/4/2008)


When Spanish explorers and missionaries came onto Southern California's shores in 1769, they encountered the large towns and villages of the Chumash, a people who at that time were among the most advanced hunter-gatherer societies in the world. The Spanish were entertained and fed at lavish feasts hosted by chiefs who ruled over the settlements and who participated in extensive social and economic networks. In this first modern synthesis of data from the Chumash heartland, Lynn H. Gamble weaves together multiple sources of evidence to re-create the rich tapestry of Chumash society. Drawing from archaeology, historical documents, ethnography, and ecology, she describes daily life in the large mainland towns, focusing on Chumash culture, household organization, politics, economy, warfare, and more.

Praise For The Chumash World at European Contact: Power, Trade, and Feasting Among Complex Hunter-Gatherers

“In this masterful combination of empirical research, controlled comparison, and attention to contemporary theories regarding the social formations of hunger-gatherers, Gamble has contributed an authoritative, richly documented and illustrated synthesis of this fascinating time and place in protohistoric California.”
— W. S. Simmons

“An important book. . . . One of the most vivid and sophisticated studies of any Indian group in North America at the point of their first sustained contact with Europeans.”
— Steven W. Hackel

“Gamble’s careful scholarship makes this text a fine template to be followed.”
— Journal Of World History

“Gamble presents a significant contribution, both descriptively and methodologically, that will be of interest to a wide variety of anthropologists, sociologists, historians, and other researchers in California and around the world.”
— Todd J. Braje

University of California Press, 9780520271241, 376pp.

Publication Date: August 22, 2011

About the Author

Lynn H. Gamble is Professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara