Catherine and I have been out of town for the past few days, combining a business trip with a mini-vacation. We spent this past weekend in Monterey, revisiting some of our favorite restaurants.
Amidst everything else, I’ve also started reading Lynn H. Gamble’s new book on the Chumash. I’ve had somewhat of an interest in Chumash prehistory since long before I ever thought of becoming an archaeologist. My mother and grandfather both grew up in Santa Barbara, and I lived there myself as a teenager. I was a regular visitor at both the mission and the natural history museum (I hadn’t been drawn into archaeology yet, but I’ve been a science geek my entire life). I’ve even been told that a distant relative of mine is buried in the cemetery at the mission, although I don’t know who they were. And on top of everything else, one of the first anthropology classes I ever took was taught by Tom Blackburn, who assigned December’s Child as one of the textbooks.
I’ve only just started Gamble’s book, but it appears that one of her main concerns is the establishment and maintenance of political power by Chumash chiefs. At the SAA conference she gave a fascinating talk comparing Patwin and Chumash chieftainship, and I’m looking forward to finding out what she has to say on the subject in this book.