Samala

The traditional Samala language area is along middle part of the Santa Ynez River. During the mission period, the language was spoken at Mission Santa Inés. Based on archaeological evidence and the testimony of early observers, it has been estimated that speakers of all Chumashan languages together numbered between 10,700 and 17,250 in pre-contact times (King 1969). In the 21st century, there are no first-language speakers of any Chumashan language. However, tribal members and language activists have been pursuing language revitalization and reclamation (Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Language Program).

Map of the Chumashan languages
Map of the Chumashan languages (Robert F. Heizer, ed. 1978. California. (Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 8.) Washington: Smithsonian Institute.)

Samala (also called "Ineseño" or "Ynezeño") is a member of the Chumashan language family; the others are Barbareño, Interior Chumash, Cruzeño, Obispeño, Purisimeño, and Ventureño.

Selected archival materials at Berkeley

Selected materials in other archives

Further reading

  • Applegate, Richard B. 1972. Ineseño Chumash grammar. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.[PDF]
  • Heizer R. F., ed. 1952. California Indian linguistic records: The Mission Indian vocabularies of Alphonse Pinart. University of California Anthropological Records 15:1-84. [PDF]
  • Heizer, R.F., ed. 1955. California Indian linguistic records: The Mission Indian vocabularies of H. W. Henshaw. University of California Anthropological Records 15:85-202. [PDF]
  • Klar, Kathryn. 1977. Topics in Historical Chumash Grammar. Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Berkeley. [PDF]
  • Kroeber, A.L. 1910. The Chumash and Costanoan languages. University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology 9,2:237-271. [PDF]
  • Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. 2007. Samala-English dictionary: A guide to the Samala language of the Ineseño Chumash people. Santa Ynez, CA: Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

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