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How Spaniards Became Chumash and Other Tales of Ethnogenesis

Author(s): Brian D. Haley and Larry R. Wilcoxon


Source: American Anthropologist, Vol. 107, No. 3 (Sep., 2005), pp. 432-445
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the American Anthropological Association
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BRIAN D. HALEY
LARRY R. WILCOXON

How Spaniards Became Chumash and other Tales


of Ethnogenesis
ABSTRACT Inthe 1970s,a network
offamilies
fromSantaBarbara,
assertedlocalindigenous
identities
as "Chumash."
California,
we demonstrate
thatthesefamilies
havequitedifferent
socialhistories
thaneither
scholars
claim.Rather
However,
theyorsupportive
thandismissing
theseneo-Chumash
as anomalous"fakes,"we placetheirclaimsto Chumashidentity
within
theirparticular
family
socialhistories.
We showthatcultural
inthesefamily
identities
lineshavechangeda number
oftimesoverthepastfourcenturies.
Thesechangesexhibit
a rangethatisoftennotexpectedand render
theemergence
ofneo-Chumash
morecomprehendible.
Thesocial
as a wholeillustrates
theease andfrequency
withwhichcultural
identities
thatfoster
history
changeandthecontexts
change.Inlight
ofthesedata,scholars
shouldquestiontheirability
to essentialize
of
social
identity.
[Keywords:
ethnogenesis,
indigenizationmodernity,
construction
ofidentity,
Southwest
Mexican
borderlands,
Americans]

N THERECENTLY
RECONSTRUCTED
north
wingofthe

RoyalPresidioof Santa Barbara,California,thereis a


smallmuseum.The museumhousesthe following:(1) the
usual displaysofartifacts,
and gifts;(2) a scale
photographs,
modelofthe originalpresidioquadrangle,whichwas built
in 1782 by troopsrepresenting
the kingofSpain;and (3) a
largefoldingdisplayoffamilygenealogieslinkingthe 18thand 19th-century
soldadosof the fortto los descendientestheirlivinglocal descendants.The supportof los descendientesis importantto the managementof Santa Barbara
PresidioStatePark.Yetnot all descendantsare listedin the
display,and amongthesearesomewho wishtheywerenot
soldado descendants.The lattergrouphas had some success achievingan identityas local indigenes-specifically,
as ChumashIndians.Theseneo-Chumashwho emergedin
the 1970s lack Chumash or otherNative Californianancestryand are descendedalmostexclusivelyfromthe people who colonizedCaliforniaforSpain from1769 to 1820.
Theirsocialhistoryis distinctfromthatoflocal indigenous
communities.Yetlocal governments
repatriate
precolonial
human remainsto themforreburialand scholarsdefend
and promotetheirclaimsof Chumashancestry,
tryto "restore"Chumashtraditionsto themthroughtheirresearch,
or approachthemforlessonsin traditionalChumashculturetoputintopapersand textbooks.HadJeanBaudrillard's
not missedthislittlecor(1988) travelsthrough"America"
nerofCalifornia"simulacra,"neo-Chumashculturemight

have become emblematicof postmodernity.


Luckilyfor
neo-Chumash(and the positionwe takehere),Baudrillard
chose Disneylandto symbolizethe pervasivesubstitution
ofsimulationforrealityin theUnitedStates.
It is temptingto suggestthat neo-Chumashare perpetrating"ethnicfraud"by assertingancestrytheydo not
have (Gonzales 1998). But should social scientistsdismiss
neo-Chumashidentityas some kindof anomaly?Anthrowiththenatureofculturalidentities
pologistshavewrestled
forat leasthalfa century.Initially,
culturalidentitieswere
consideredprimordialand fundamentalto personhood,
only changingthroughthe modernizationof "traditional
cultures"andnationbuilding.Othersarguedthatidentities
wereinstrumental
culturaltoolsthatpeople createdand reshapedin the politicsofgroupinteraction.
Recognitionof
identitychange grewwhen the "ethnicboundaries"conBarth(1969), and boundary
ceptwas introducedbyFredrik
crossingwasrecognizedas common.Asculturewasbrought
back into the picturein the 1980s,essentialists
continued
a positionsimilarto earlierprimordialists,
insistingthat
tradition,language,or ancestrydefinesand dictatesidendemonstrated
how suchseemtity,whereasconstructivists
ing essenceswereactivelyproduced,and ethnohistorians
honed the conceptof "ethnogenesis"-theemergenceof
new groupsand identities-todescribecommunity
fission
and coalescence.Bytheendofthecentury,
mostanthropolaresocially
ogistsappearedto acceptthatculturalidentities

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Vol. 107, Issue3, pp. 432-445, ISSN0002-7294,electronic
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forpermission
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Haleyand Wilcoxon * Talesof Ethnogenesis 433


contextualized,
constructed,
manipulated,and both politand
motivated.
However,culturalidenically
emotionally
titiesalso maintaintheappearanceof havingessentialand
enduringqualities.We now knowthatthehistoricalmemorylong consideredcrucialto culturalidentityis balanced
by a historicalimagination.
Nevertheless,
questionsremainoverjusthowmalleable
identitiesareand whatthesenewunderstandings
meanfor
policyand practice.Takingup the former,
PhilipKohl argues that "culturaltraditionscannotbe fabricatedout of
whole cloth," as he believes strictconstructivists
allege.
He favorscontextualconstructivism,
which "acceptsthat
social phenomenaare continuouslyconstructedand maascertainable
reasons"(1998:233).
nipulatedforhistorically
The neo-Chumashpose a challenge:Their example appearsto be a clearcase of whole-clothfabrication,
yetthe
reasonsfortheirethnogenesisare readilyascertained.Peris the factthatthe social historyof
haps mostintriguing
neo-Chumashfamiliescontainsa clearsequence of identitychangeswithascertainablecauses spanningfourcenturies.Rarelydo anthropologists
confrontsuch unequivocal evidenceof manyidentitychangesand its contextsin
the same familylines oversuch a long time.We feelthat
thishistoryrevealsin starkfashionthe normalcyof identitychangeas politicallymotivated,
sociallycontextualized
action.
In a 1997 article,we addressedthe implicationsof
therole
ethnogenesisforpolicyand practiceby describing
in
and
constructing
anthropologists
played
legitimizing
ChumashTraditionalism,
the spiritualaffiliation
of many
neo-Chumash.We expressedconcernaboutboth concealmentof thislegitimization
and the dismissalof such new
cultureas spuriousor fakeunder federalheritagepolicy
(Haleyand Wilcoxon1997,1999). AmongChumashscholars,criticsdenied the firstargumentand overlookedthe
second. They raised objectionsbased on theirrejection
of evidencethat showed foundingTraditionalists
lacked
Chumashancestryor historicalaffiliation
(Erlandsonet al.
we expectedreaderswouldrecognizethein1998).Initially,
herentflawofourcritics'admissionsthattheyhad neverindeclaravestigatedthishistoryand theirself-contradictory
it.Becauseourfocusat thetimewas cultural
tionsregarding
we didnotrespondimmeproductionratherthanancestry,
diatelyto thisargument.However,itbecame clear thatsome

readersacceptedour critics'claimsregarding
ancestryand,
ourarguments
and their
as a result,severelymisinterpreted
implications (see, e.g., Boggs 2002; Field 1999:195; King
2003:111-114, 279-280; Nabokov 2002:146-147).1 We responded brieflyto a few of these (Haley 2003, 2004; Haley
and Wilcoxon 2000) but realized we would have to revisit
the question in detail ifthe practical implications of ethnogenesis were going to be widely recognized and discussed.
So far,we have described the documentary evidence that

underminesscholars'assertionsof a Chumash originfor


Chumash Traditionalists (Haley 2002) but not the multiplicityand range of identitychanges. JohnJohnson (2003)
corroboratesour statementsabout ancestry.Here we present

and contextualizethe identitychangeswe did not present


earlier.
To documentneo-Chumashsocial history,we were
drawnbackintoa literature
and documentary
evidenceon
formation
in colonialMexicoand amongMexicanidentity
to the UnitedStatesfamiliarto us from
originimmigrants
otherresearch(e.g., Haley 1997). We werestruckby how
abundantand well documentedidentitychangesin particularfamilylineswere.Usingprimarysources,we found
sequentialidentitychangesin particularfamiliesback to
themid-18thcentury;
usingsecondarydata,we tracedback
to the mid-16thcentury.2
We knowof no cases in the literaturewith similarlylong historiesof repeatedidentity
changesin particularfamilylines,but withsimilarmethods otherssurelycould be added. Also,unlikemostpublished cases, the identitychangesin this historyare not
confinedto macro categories,such as fromone typeof
AmericanIndian to another.They cross supposedlyimor adoption.
permeableboundarieswithoutintermarriage
These boundarycrossingsare one reasonwhyscholarsoftenfailto accuratelydescribeneo-Chumashsocialhistory:
Fewexpectto have to crossbordersofethnicliteratures
to
traceparticular
families.
As JohnMoore pointsout withrespectto the significance of ethnicgroupnames and naming,"the mutual
in ethnonymy
are a sensitiveinperspectives
represented
dicator[sic]of socialand politicalissues,pastand present"
Mexico as an ar(2001:33). Takingvolatile 16th-century
our
were
bitrarystartingpoint,
subjects
assignedobligations and privilegesvia Spain's impositionof a caste systemand a gentede raz6n-gente
sinraz6ndivisionassociated
withthelegaldistinction
betweentherepablica
deespaioles
and repablica
de indios.3
We can tracemobilitybetweencatsocialconditionsand willing
egories,facilitated
byfrontier
orunawareauthorities,
to theend ofthe18thcentury
when
thecastesystemcollapsed.Our subjectswereamongthose
who participated
in Californio
whentheyfelt
ethnogenesis
estrangedand isolatedfroma distracted
postindependence
Mexico. Theykeenlyfeltthe effectsof U.S. conquestand
itsimposedracialideologyafter1848. Retainingwhitestatusbecamea challengebecauseofdecliningclassstanding
and politicalpower.In the late 19th century,
theybegan
assertingSpanishidentityto avoid prejudiceagainstrising
numbers of Mexican immigrants.In this regard,they were
assisted by the rise of culturaltourismthat valued Spanishness. A criticalscholarlyassault on Spanishness in the 1960s
and 1970s weakened this strategy.Simultaneously,the federal government's search for unrecorded indigenes to settle a land dispute, elevation of the stature of indigenous
identity by countercultural and ecopolitical movements,
and local organizing made Chumash identity appeal to
these working-class families. Last, negative public reaction to risingMexican immigrationat the close of the centuryappears to reinforcea willingness to assertindigenous
identity.
Figure 1 summarizes these changes. They follow the
reticularpatternof ethnogenesis describedby Moore (1994)

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434

American Anthropologist * Vol. 107, No. 3 * September 2005

Colonization
ofMexico

[Europe]

Mexican

Frontier1drao

castes)
(various

California]1

Californios

1820-1848
1820-1848

1848-1960

Present

[Mexico]

"
Gente
Gentede razdn

Northwest.

California

[Africa]

White

Mexicans

White,

American

Spanish

Spanish,

"Chumash"

Californio,
etc.

Chicano,

Mexicanetc.
American,

identities
fromthe same immigrant
and otherCalifornio
FIGURE1. The ethnogenesisof neo-Chumash
deriving
group.

and others(e.g.,Terrell2001). These identitychangescortheoriesofBarth(1969) and


respondto theinteractionalist
the mercantileand capitalistdynamicsdescribedby Eric
in applicationto
Wolf(1982). Theyare developedfurther
of
the
indigenization, power states,class, and migration
byMichaelKearney(2004) and JonathanFriedman(1999).
reconstruction
resembles
twootherworksbut
Ourhistorical
differs
fromboth in importantways.LisbethHaas (1995)
describesmanyof the same historicalidentitychangesin
butsheneitherincludestheearlierdata
southernCalifornia,
nor recognizesthe indigenizationof identitywe demonstratehere.MarthaMenchaca(2001) coversthe sametime
span,yetshe essentializesidentityin waysthatwe directly
challengeand failsto recognizeher own absorptioninto
the neo-Chumashmovement.We further
explorehercase
laterin thisarticle.
Ourfocushereis on thelinealkindepictedin Figure2.
the small size of the partythatfoundedSanta
Reflecting
members
ofthe twochartsare related:All of genBarbara,
erationC and two in D in the lowerchartare also in the

upperchart.4Our writingson identitychangeamong descendantsofcolonialSantaBarbaraaddressseveralkindreds


(e.g., Haley in press).The presentworkimplicatesmore.
Otherfamilyhistoriesillustrate
the sameprocesses,butwe
selectedthese examplesfortheirrichnessand to correct
errorsby otherscholars.To add context,we occasionally
on collateralkin and affines-many
presentinformation
prominentin Californiahistory.RichardHandler(1985)
advocatesavoidingethnonymsbecause of theirethically
butwe use all oftheknown
effect,
problematic
legitimizing
ethnonymsin the group'shistoryto emphasizethe fluidityof identity.We also feelwe mustuse the termneoChumashto acknowledgethe sustainedexistenceofa contestedsocialboundarybetweentheneo-Chumashand the
Chumashcommunities
livingin SantaYnez,SantaBarbara,
and Ventura,who are descendedfromcontact-era
villages
and who havemaintaineda continuousidentity
as local indigenes(Johnson2003; McLendonandJohnson1999).The
legitimacythatneo-ChumashderivefromoutsiderspressuresChumashto acceptthemas coethnics,but enduring

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Haley and Wilcoxon * Tales of Ethnogenesis

435

E
F

cH

A
G
B

C
D
E
F

FIGURE2. Kinshipchartsof neo-Chumash


ancestorsfromnorthwest
Mexico(black).Dashedlinesinthe
(gray)and theircolonialimmigrant
upperchartindicateunmarried
(generationsB and E) and adoptive(generationC-D) parents.

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436

AmericanAnthropologist* Vol. 107,No. 3 * September2005

have been rare.We knowa fraction


collaborations
ofthose
ourworkaddresses.Ifanyofthemwereto lose publiclegitimacy,itis notclearwho,ifanyone,mightbenefit.However,
therearepotentialconsequences,so we omitnamesand sex
aftera certaindate.
IDENTITIESON NEWSPAIN'S
CULTURAL
NORTHERNFRONTIER
When Spanishcolonizersseizedcontrolof centralMexico
in the16thcentury,
formakingand
theyusedracialcriteria
betweenthemselvesas
preserving
majorsocialdistinctions
elites,Africansas slaves,and Indians residingin semiaude indios as tributepayersand food
tonomousrepuiblicas
producers.This legal systemof identitiesbecame more
categorieswereadded to address
complexas intermediate
the rapidlyrisingnumbersof people of multipleancestries(Seed1982).A secondclassification
distinguished
gente
de raz6n (people of reason) fromgente sin raz6n (peoa contrastbeple withoutreason):This was, essentially,
tween"civilized"people and the Native"barbarians"who
resistedcolonialcontrol(Nugent1998). It grewout ofthe
1550-51 debatesoverwhetherNew Worldpeoples should
be subduedby force.The distinction
gainedsalienceas the
frontier
northward
central
Mexico into the
from
pushed
desert,wherethe Spanish encounterednomadic and resistantChichimecanswho contrastedwith the sedentary
peoplesof centralMexico,manyofwhomhad alliedwith
the Spanish,acceptedCatholicism,and weresentto settle
and pacifythenorthern
desertin thelatterhalfofthe 16th
century(Powell1952:44,108-109,252 n. 12). In 1573,the
forexploration
Crowngaveprimary
and paciresponsibility
ficationto missionaries(Weber1992:78).As mission-based
settlement
and pacificationsucceeded,the Holy Officeof
the Inquisitionsoughtto convertand then protectthese
Indian neophytesfromprosecutionforheresies:As gente
sin raz6n,theywere,likechildren,notyetfullyrationalor
responsible(Gutierrez1991:195).
The conflationof legallysanctionedidentitywithancestryproducednotionsof purityand mixturebelied by
historicalevidence.Espafiolesclaimed "purityof blood"
justifiedtheirhigh status;mixed ancestrymestizos,mulatos, and otherscarriedthe stigmaof presumedillegit-

imacy; an association with slave status furtherstigmatized Africanancestry (negros, mulatos, etc.).5 In fact,the
firstmestizos were absorbed by the espailoles, and later
the child of an espaflol and a castizo (idealized as 3/4
espafiol) was also classifiedas espafiol. Record keeping was
not rigorous. Officialsusually "lightened" caste by "correcting" it to correspond to occupation and to approximate spouse's caste as they felt it should (Seed 1982).
Mobility between castes was constrained by one's social
networks. According to R. Douglas Cope (1994), minor
changes, such as indio to mestizo, might reflect marriage or closer association with Spanish patrons, but major shifts,such as negro to mestizo, required new social
networks.

Thenorthern
frontier
offered
suchconditions.Catholic
missions,as well as gentede raz6n soldiersand settlersof
northwestward.
Mission
manycastes,moved the frontier
communitieswerereservedforindio neophytes,whereas
the gentede raz6n settledin presidialcommunities,
minand
towns.
Social
occurred
as
mising camps,
mobility
sionsecularization
turnedprotected
into
tributeneophytes
payinggentede raz6n citizens,and migrationfacilitated
and
hiding one's background.Militaryservice,tenantry,
miningbroughttogetherindios and lower-classgentede
raz6nin commoncommunities
thatfostered
intermarriage
and castemobility,
Officials
who
mutingcastedistinctions.
recordedcaste emphasizeddifferent
criteriaamong skin
color,clothing,hairstyles,
occupation,behavior,a person's
local standing,and knownancestry.
Withskilledindividuals oftenin shortsupplyand authority
farto thesouth,upwardcastemobilitybecamecommonplace(Jackson1997;
was a zone of opportunity,
Radding1997). The frontier
whereindiosbecamegentede raz6nand mestizos,negros
became mulatosand moriscos,and mestizosand mulatos
became espafioles.Caste termson the frontier
on the eve
of California'scolonizationwere termsof statusand respect,and not simplylabelsof presumedbiologicalances1991:196-206;Mason 1998;Weber1992:326try(Gutierrez
329).
In 1769,thecolonizationofCalifornia(AltaCalifornia)
began via a seriesof expeditionslaunched fromfrontier
in Baja Californiadel Sur,Sonora,and Sinaloa.
communities
The Portoldexpeditionof 1769-70 foundedpresidiosand
missionsat San Diego and Monterey.
A fewadditionalsoldiersfromMexicowerepostedto Californiathrough1775,
includingthe firstfamiliesin 1774. In 1776,the Anza expeditionbroughtnearly200 soldiers,colonists,wives,and
in California.A
children,doublingSpain'srepresentatives
trickleof postingsoccurreduntil 1781, when the Rivera
y Moncada expeditionbrought62 soldiers,theirfamilies,
and 12 settlerfamilies,who foundedLos Angelesand the
Santa Barbarapresidio.The expeditionigniteda revoltby
Yumasthatclosedthebestland routeto California,
curtailCalifornia's
colonial
ing major colonizing.By 1790,
populationnumberedabout 1,000personsdistributed
among
fourpresidios,two pueblos,and 12 missions;only about
300 morehad arrivedby 1820 (Mason 1998:17-44;Weber
1992:236-265).
CASTE YIELDS TO RAZON
The castes of California's colonists reflectthe diverse and
fluid composition of the colonial military in northwest
Mexico at the time. Table 1 liststhe colonial immigrantancestorsof our neo-Chumash by date ofimmigration.A letter
in the thirdcolumn corresponds to generations marked in
Figure 2 and the text. The immigrantsoriginate primarily
in presidial towns of Sonora, Sinaloa, and Baja California
del Sur. Garrison lists and other sources indicate that at
least 32 of the 34 male immigrantswere soldados at some
point in their lives. Caste can be tallied only fora specific

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Haleyand Wilcoxon * Talesof Ethnogenesis 437


fromMexico
to California,
whoemigrated
TABLE1. Ancestors
ofneo-Chumash
1769-1820;
generation
arranged
bydateofimmigration,
and
(Gen.),birthplace, occupation.6
Date and Event
Immigration
1769 PortoldExpedition
ByOctober5, 1773
1774 RiveraSinaloaRecruits
By1776
1776 De Anza Expedition

Circa1778

1781 RiveraExpedition

1787
Circa1788-1789
Circa 1804-1810
1819 Mazatlan Squadron
By 1820 (prob. 1817)

Individualsand Family
Immigrants:
Groupsby Head
Dominguez,JuanJos6
Cordero,MarianoAntonio
Sinoba,Jos6Francisco
Lugo,FranciscoSalvadorde
Martinez,
JuanaMariaRita
JuanDiego
Verdugo,
Carrillo,MariaIgnaciade la Concep.
Arellano,ManuelRamirez
L6pezDe Haro,MariaAgueda
Boj6rquez,JoseRamon
Romero,MariaFrancisca
Boj6rquez,MariaGertrudis
Lisalde,PedroAntonio
Pico,FelipeSantiagode la Cruz
Bastida,MariaJacinta
Pico,Jos6Miguel
Pinto,Pablo
Ruelas,FranciscaXaviera
Pinto,JuanaFrancisca
Cota,RoqueJacintoDe
JuanaMaria
Verdugo,
Cota,MariaLoreta
Cota,MarianoAntonio
Dominguez,MariaUrsula
Rubio,Mateo
Alanis,Maximo
Miranda,JuanaMaria
Ignacio
Alipaz-Perez,
P&rez,MariaEncarnaci6n
Dominguez,Ildefonso
German,MariaYgnacia
Dominguez,JoseMaria
Feliz,JuanVictorino
Landeros,MariaMicaela
Feliz,MariaMarcelina
Fernandez,
Jos6Rosalino
Quintero,MariaJosefa
JuanaConcep.
Lugo,JosefYgnacioManuel
Sanchez,MariaGertrudis
Lugo,Jos6Miguel
Quijada,Vicente
Quintero,LuisManuel
Rubio,MariaPetraTimotea
Ruiz,Efigenio
L6pez,MariaRosa
Ruiz,Jos6Pedro
AntonioClementeFeliz
Villavicencio,
Flores,Mariade los Santos
MariaAntoniaJosefa
Pifluelas,
Rodriguez,
Jos6Ygnacio
Parra,JuanaPaula de la Cruz
Romero,
JuanMaria
Salgado,MariaLugarda
Romero,JoseAntonio
Guevara,JosephIgnacioR. Ladronde
Rivera,MariaYgnacia
Urquides, Jos6 Encarnaci6n
Espinosa, Jos6Ascencio
Policarpio

Gen.

Birthplace

Occupation

B
D
C
C
C
B
B
B
B
B
B
C
C
C
C
D
C
C
D
C
C
D
D
C
C
C
C
B
C
C
C
D
C
C
D
C
C
C
C
D
D
B
B
B
B
C
C
C
D
C
C
C
C
D
D
D

VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
Loreto,Baja California
CiudadMexico,M6xico
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
El Fuerte,Sinaloa
Loreto,Baja California
Puebla,Puebla
Alamos,Sonora
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
San Xavierde Cabazan,Sinaloa
Tepic,Nayarit
San Xavierde Cabazan,Sinaloa
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
El Fuerte,Sinaloa
Loreto,Baja California
Loreto,Baja California
Loreto,Baja California
SantaGertrudis,
Baja California
Ypres,Flanders(Belgium)
Chametla,Sinaloa
Alamos,Sonora
Mexico
Pueblode Ostimuri,
Sonora
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
Sinaloa
Cosalhi,
Cosala,Sinaloa
Cosala,Sinaloa
El Fuerte,Sonora
Alamos,Sonora
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
Alamos,Sonora
Guadalajara,Jalisco
Alamos,Sonora
El Fuerte,Sinaloa
El Fuerte,Sinaloa
El Fuerte,Sinaloa
Chihuahua,Chihuahua
Batopilas,Chihuahua
VillaSinaloa,Sinaloa
Alamos,Sonora
Alamos,Sonora
Loreto,Baja California
Loreto,Baja California
Loreto,Baja California
Queretaro,
Queretaro
SantaCriz del Mayo,Sonora

Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Soldier

El Fuerte,Sinaloa
Mazatlan, Sinaloa
San Vicente, Baja California

Poss. Soldier

E
E

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Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Soldier

Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Armytailor
Soldier
Settlerrecruit
Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Soldier
Poss. Servant

438

AmericanAnthropologist * Vol. 107, No. 3 * September 2005

TABLE2. Caste changes among the immigrants


and earlyU.S.
censusraceclassification
ofthosesurviving.
Before
1780
1780
MaximoAlanis
mulato
JoseMa. Dominguez
RosalinoFernandez
JuanaMa. Miranda
JuanaPaula Parra
LuisQuintero
VicenteQuijada
IgnacioRodriguez
Gertrudis
SAnchez
MateoRubio
TeodoroArrellanes
MarcelinaFeliz
CasildaSinoba

17821785

1790

18501852

indio

mestizo espaflol white


espafiol mestizo
mestizo mulato mulato
mestizo
espalol
mulato mestizo mestizo
negro mulato mulato
indio mestizo
mestizo mestizo espafiol
mestizo espafiol
espafiol europeo
espafiol white
espafiol espafiol white
espafiol white
Sources:Forbes1966; Goycoechea1785; Hoar 1852; Mason 1978,

1998;U.S.CensusBureau1850.

countingeventbecause people'scaste changedovertime.


No tallyis completebecauseof differing
lifespansand the
virtualdisappearanceof casteuse in Californiaafter1790.
The 1790 censusrecordsthe immigrants
in Table 1 as one
europeo,24 espafioles,ten mestizos,seven mulatos,two
coyotes,twoindios,and one morisco.7 Typicalofthefrontier,at leastsix of our 1790 colonistspreviouslyhad been
castes(see Table 2). As the mastertailorfor
lower-ranking
Santa Barbara'spresidio,Luis Quintero(B) is listedas a
mulato in 1785-90 but as a negroin 1781. Eithercaste
could have excludedhim fromthe mastertailorposition.
Jos6MariaPico,son of FelipeSantiagode la CruzPico (C),
advancedfrommestizoin 1782 to espafiolin 1790 while
stationedin San Diego,becausehe probablywas considered
forpromotion.Meanwhile,his fullbrother
Jos6Miguel(D)
in SantaBarbarais listedas mulato(Mason 1998:53,62-63;
Northrop1984:205).
After1790, castelost saliencethroughoutSpain'sU.S.
and upward
colonies,because centuriesof intermarriage
castemobilitymeantmanyrespectablecitizenshad anceswerewillingto trigtrytheywishedto hide.Fewauthorities
Thiswas quiteevident
gerscandalswithrigorousreporting.
in California.Californiawas also the end of Spain'sfrontier,and social mobilityforlocal indios did not existas
Mexico. An identityunifyingall
it had in northwestern
colonistsin juxtapositionto local indios servedthe small
and remotefrontier
populationbest.After1790,thismost
salientdivisionwas expressedas twocategoriesonly:gente
classifiedas
de raz6n (whichincludedcolonizersformerly
indios)and indio (Mason 1998:45-64;Miranda1988).
THE BIRTH OF CALIFORNIO IDENTITY

Gentede raz6nsettlement
grewslowlyaroundthepresidio
in Santa Barbara,wherethe presidiochapel as a focalinstitutionreinforced
separationfromChumashneophytes
at the mission,two kilometersaway (about 1.24 miles).
California'sisolation after1781, aggravatedby Mexico's

war of independence,lastedformorethan 40 years,setting the scene for the formationof a regionalidentity


(Mason 1998:36-37). Haas (1995:32-38) locates the origins of Californioidentityin policy debates regarding
and neophyteemancipation
land, missionsecularization,
afterMexicanindependencein 1821. Mexico'sneglectof
and
California,refusalto appointa Californiangovernor,
periodic talk of making Californiaa penal colony angeredCalifornia'sgentede raz6n. As the federalgovernment secularizedmissions,redistributed
theirlands, and
transformed
neophytesinto Mexican citizens,prominent
Californianshoped to retainIndian labor by givingthe
emancipatedneophyteslands sufficient
only forhouses
and gardens.Theywantedmost missionlands forthemselves,but the appointedgovernorsdelayed land redistribution.In reaction,a "protonationalism"
calling for
Californiasovereignty
in
the
1820s
and 1830s
emerged
The
movement
(Sainchez1995:228-267).
promotedbelief that bonds of territory,
language,religion,culture,
kinship,and blood distinguishedCaliforniosfrommexicanos.Californios
claimedto be uniquelyinfluenced
bythe
Franciscanmissionsand to have more "sangreazul [blue
blood] of Spain" than the restof Mexico (Haas 1995:37).
This suggeststhat Californiosreinterpreted
the espafiol
caste of theirimmediateancestorsliterally.They began
a label previcallingMexicans "extranjeros"(foreigners),
ouslyapplied only to non-Mexicans.Proponentsof indewho wereclose
pendenceincludedleadingSantaBarbarans
affinal,
collateral,and fictivekinsmento individualsrepresentedin Figure2 and firstcousinsofgenerationsD and E
in otherregions(Sanchez1995:228-267).
Their own divisions and the U.S.-Mexican War
thwarted
theCalifornio's
visionofindependence,although
did
the
and most formermisthey
acquire
governorship
sion lands beforewarbrokeout. Largeland grantsformed
the basis of the livestockeconomyof Californiain the
19thcentury,
as elites,and butpositionedsomeCalifornios
tressedtheirsenseofuniqueness.Ifthisdid not add a class
dimensionto Californioidentity,
it at least caused scholars to assumethe granteeswerean aristocratic
"Spanish"
elite distinctfromthe "mixedrace" commonersand the
only colonists to assert Californioidentity(Camarillo
1996:1). Our case supportschallengesto thisview (Haas
B-D received
1995; Miranda1988). Six men in generations

Spanish land concessions beforeMexican independence. By


1845, Mexico had converted two of these to grants and
given six new grants to men in generations C-E (Allen
1976:19, 26, 30; Bancroft1964:29, 40, 122, 286, 309, 314).
The 1790 census lists four of these men as espafloles, one
as mestizo, his wifeand son (also a grantee) as mulatos, the
parents of another as mestizos, and the mother of another
as a mulato (Mason 1998). At least threeof these-MAximo
Alanis (C), Jos& Ygnacio Rodriguez (C), and Jos6 Maria
Dominguez (D)-experienced caste mobility (see Table 2),
and it is likely that families embellished their status after
obtaining grants (Miranda 1988). Land grants supported

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HaleyandWilcoxon* TalesofEthnogenesis439
extendedsets of kin who suppliedsome of the rancho's
labor.At least fiveadultsin generationsC-E plus an unknown numberof theirchildrenwere in such positions
(Allen 1976:19-40). Young men in these ranchingfamilies werevaqueros(cowboys),rancheros,farmers,
laborers,
and shepherds(U.S. CensusBureau1850,1860).We cannot
answerthequestionaboutclassand Californio
definitively
but
identity, we can unequivocallystatethatsome of our
"Spanish"elitesand their"mixedrace"workerssharedthe
same ancestry.
BECOMINGWHITEAND SPANISH
WiththecloseoftheU.S.-MexicanWarin 1848,Californios
themselvesbecame a colonized people. The imposition
by the United States of its policies and cultureprofoundlyinfluencedidentities.Four processesare crucial
in this period: the marginalizationof Californios,negotiationof white racial status,anti-Mexicanprejudice
associatedwith postwarMexican immigration,
and the
of
The
emergence Spanish identity.
postwarmarginalization of Californiosis well documented (Pitt 1966).
took controlof the state'swealth,raAnglo-Americans
their
withclaimsof ManifestDestiny,
actions
tionalizing
racialpurity,and superior"civilization."Land and authority were wrestedfromCalifornios,leavingmost in lowpayingmanuallaborjobs.TheUnitedStateserecteda costly
procedureforpatentingMexican land titlesto meet U.S.
standards.Even rancheroswho securedtheirpatentswere
bankruptedor so weakenedfinancially
by theprocessthat
subsequentcalamitiesruined them (Camarillo 1996:86;
Conrow1993:113).MostlandgrantspassedfromCalifornio
ownershipby 1875 (Pitt1966:250-251).
In SantaBarbara,theimpactsareapparentin the 1870
U.S. Census. Forexample,land grantheirGeronimoRuiz
in 1852,a stockraiser(a termap(E) is recordedas a farmer
to
in
in
economic
elites) 1860,and an electionofficial
plied
1864 (de la Guerra1864; Hoar 1852:20;U.S. CensusBureau
1860:196).8By 1870,he was a day laborer(U.S. CensusBureau 1870:475).From1860 to 1870,mostofSantaBarbara's
rancherosand farmers
becamevaqueros,herders,
and teamsters;fromthelate1870sthroughWorldWarI, theysheared
urbanwork(Camarillo1996:83sheepand foundpart-time
100).
Intensified poverty in the 1870s and 1880s drove
women and children into farm, domestic, and laundry
work. Some required public assistance (Conrow 1993:115).
The men of generations F-H and nearly all their collateral
kinsmen worked as farmworkers,day laborers,or laborers,
according to censuses through 1930.9 Afterthe city election of 1874 left Californios with a single representative,
they were an economically and politically weak minority
enclave in Pueblo Viejo, the neighborhood surroundingthe
remains of the old presidio. Households headed by generations E-H were part of the close-knit,intricatelyinterrelated, and endogamous community into the early 20th

A fewhouseholdshelpedestablisha Californioencentury.
clave in the suburbof Montecitobefore1880 but retained
strongtiesto PuebloViejo(Camarillo1996:63,72, 110,185;
etal. 1997:215;U.S. Census
Conrow1993:115;Garcia-Moro
Bureau1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910).
conventionfulIn 1849, the Californiaconstitutional
filledtreatyprotectionsforthe rightsof formerMexican
Californios(Pitt1966:45,84). At
citizensby enfranchising
thetime,theUnitedStatesgrantedfulllegalprivileges
only
dito personsconsidered"white,"so the phenotypically
2
Californios
became
white.
Table
includes
verse
officially
fourindividualswho have Spanishcasteand U.S. raceclassifications
recorded.In additionto thechangeling,
Maximo
Alanis(C), who previouslywas recordedas mulato,indio,
mestizo,and espafiol,CasildaSinoba's(D) motherand maternalgrandparents
werelistedas mestizosin 1790 (Mason
1998:83, 104). Despiteofficialclassification,
ambiguityremainedin practice.In the 1880s,HubertH. Bancroft
characterizedCalifornios'whitenessas a mere "badge of re(Haas 1995:172). Complicatingmattersand
spectability"
new
to theold divisionbetweenCalifornios
salience
giving
and Mexicanswas growinganti-Mexicansentimentstirred
by labormigrationfromMexico between1890 and 1920.
Santa Barbara'sCaliforniosfeltthisprejudicein 1916-27,
even thoughMexicannewcomerssettledmainlyin other
neighborhoods.Pejorativeuse of Mexicanand greaserby
Some
schoolyardand workplaceconflicts.
Anglostriggered
facilities
orexcludeddarker-skinned
Californios.
segregated
of indigentfamiliesto Mexico to
Voluntaryrepatriations
relievewelfarecostsstartedin 1926; mass deportations
in
1930-33 includedsome Californios.In 1923, membersof
a recentlyformedSanta BarbaraKu KluxKlan chapteraccosted a descendantof a presidiosoldier.Althoughthe
incidentignitedpublic scornof the Klan, the eventwas
searedinto the memoriesof cousinsof generationsG and
H (Camarillo1996:55,142, 161-163,188, 190-195,290 n.
26; Conrow1993:117;Ruizn.d.b).By1910,twohouseholds
F and one in generation
in generation
G increasedtheirseparationfrommostMexicanimmigrants
bymovingto Santa
Barbara'swestside,whereall ofgenerations
H and I in one
chartofFigure2 concentrated
thereafter.
Theothers
shortly
continuedto residein theMontecitoenclave.10
By the late 19th century,assertingSpanish identity
emergedas a strategyto evade anti-Mexicanprejudice.
Espafiol or gente de raz6n ancestry became widely interpreted as proof of pure Spanish "blood" and whiteness (Miranda 1981:8, 20 n. 24; 1988). This was risky
for Californios because any other ancestry implied racial
inferiority,as some early Anglo historians declared. Sympathetic scholars, therefore,left caste out of their publications until the 1970s (Mason 1998:45-46). The success of Spanish identity lies in its importance to Santa
Barbara tourism.The City of Santa Barbara spent the 1870s
and 1880s demolishing Pueblo Viejo adobes to create new
streets,yet the city was quickly becoming a tourist destination with Pueblo Viejo one of its attractions.As tourism

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440

AmericanAnthropologist* Vol. 107,No. 3 * September2005

grew,Anglosand Californiosalikeexpressednostalgiafor
the town'sdisappearingcharacter(Camarillo1996:38-41,
54-56; Schultz 1993:9-15). These feelingspartookof a
romanticism
of Spanish
creatinglucrativeinterpretations
and NativeAmericanculturesthroughoutthe Southwest
(McWilliams1990:43-50; Thomas 1991). The California
movementcreatedan idyllicpastoralSpanish past with
refinedrancheros,kindly
sweepingmissionarchitecture,
and
contented
missionaries,
yet childlikeIndians.Aftera
1925earthquakeleveledmuchofSantaBarbara,officials
ima
Santa
Barbara
architectural
that
posed
style
Hispanicized
the cityvisually.These moves solidifiedbeing Spanishas
an acceptableidentityeven whenbeingMexicanwas not.
Spanishnesscould help individualsgain accessto thosein
power,escape anti-Mexicanprejudice,and perhapsobtain
a civicappointment(McWilliams1990:43-50).
One of SantaBarbara'sexpressionsof Spanishnesswas
thecreationoftheannualOld SpanishDays Fiestain 1924.
The firstOld Spanish Days FiestaCommitteesoughtthe
participationof local Californiosto lend "authenticity"
to the event(Conrow 1993:115-116,118). Some scholars
suggestthat only Californioelites asserteda Spanish
identity(Camarillo1996:69-70; McWilliams1990:44-50;
Pitt1966:284-296).However,theindividualscreditedwith
into the 1924 Old Spanish
bringingSpanishparticipation
Ruiz's
Fiesta
were
Geronimo
(E) nieces(Haleyin press),
Days
and laboring
and participantsincludedour farmworking
in
G-I.
families generations
The pursuitof Spanish identityby workingclass
Californiosleftmanytraces.Becauseof space limitations,
we offerjust one example (see also Haley in press):descendantsofJoseYgnacioLadr6nde Guevara(D) through
the"lessdistinguished"
family(Miranda1978:189,195 nn.
18, 20) of his Santa Barbara-bornson JoseCanuto Guevara (E; see Table 1). Bytheearly1900s,thehomesteadsof
Canuto'sson (F) and grandson(G) failed,so theyreturned
to vaquero,day laborer,and teamsterwork(U.S. Census
173 Sheet
155 Sheet3A, 1910:District
Bureau1900:District
221
Sheet
1920:District
101
Sheet
District
9B,
13B,
10B).
In 1911,the Morning
PressmemorializedCanuto'sjust deceased son (F) as the "lastof the old vaqueros,"whose faMadrid.So theold
ther[JoseCanuto]"camefrom
Spain,from
old
Castile"
traditions
reached
back
to
(Obituary
vaquero's
Filesn.d.:BookG,emphasisadded).The 1930censusrecords
the race of the grandson's (G) familyas Spanish, presumably as theyreportedit (U.S. Census Bureau 1930:District11
Sheet 26A). His wife,daughters,and granddaughtersmade
Spanish costumes for and participated in the Old Spanish
Days Fiesta formany years. Decades later,a granddaughter
(H) and grandson of the "old vaquero" (F) stated separately
that Canuto had been born in Spain but gave differentlocations (Obituary Files n.d.:Books G and H; Pico
Ruiz
n.d.;
The
also
rationalized
the
"old
n.d.a).
grandson
vaquero's"
(F) physical appearance: He had spent "many hours each
day on horseback caring for the animals. The outdoor life
gave him a tawny brown skin, which contrasted dramatically with his curlywhite hair" (Ruiz n.d.a).

Alloftheancestorsofourneo-Chumashlivingbetween
1850 and 1930,includingthe oldestfutureneo-Chumash,
were recordedas whitein U.S. and statecensuses:67 of
those in generationsC-I in Figure2. This includesall of
generationsF-I in one chart(excludingtwospouses),even
as tensionsoverimmigration
heightened.Evenin the 1930
census-the onlyone withMexicanas an official
race-this
is
as
recorded
white
or
Most
census
enugroup
Spanish.
meratorsin SantaBarbarafrom1910 through1930 distinfromrecentMexicanimmiguishedSpanishor Californios
Suburban
Montecito,however,wheregenerations
grants.
F-H in the otherchartin Figure2 lived,was polarizedbetweenwealthyelitesand theirservantsand laboringclasses
(Camarillo1996:63). In 1910, 13 of these were recorded
as Other,with "Mex" writtenin the form'smargin.In
1920, theywererecordedas white,but in 1930, fourwere
low-classstatusofgenrecordedas Mexican.The persistent
erationsF-I in both chartsand theirlong-standing
assertions of Spanishancestrysuggesttheyall facedrepeated
challengesto sustainingwhitestatus.GenerationsH and
I were still identifying
themselvesas whiteby 1946 on
Social Securityforms.All continuedto associateprimarily
withotherSpanish-Californios
(Conrow1993:116;Schultz
1993:13).
CLAIMING CHUMASH IDENTITY

Spanish identitylost its lusterin the 1960s, as scholars


embracedCareyMcWilliams's1948 call forreplacingthe
Southwest'sSpanish"fantasyheritage"with"racialpride"
thatrecognizedSpanishAmericans
and MexicanAmericans
as a singlepeople (Camarillo1996:1;McWilliams1990:53;
Pitt1966:277-296;Thomas1991:136).The Chicanomovementemergingalongsidethisessentialistideologybriefly
attracted
somefutureneo-Chumash.However,at thesame
time,theU.S. Bureauof IndianAffairs
reopenedjudgment
rollslistingpersonsqualifiedto receivesharesof a federal
cash settlementof CaliforniaIndian land claims.AssumingthatmostCaliforniaIndianshad mergedwithSpanishCalifornios,Santa BarbaragenealogistRosarioCurlettiofferedto help SpanishfamiliesdocumenttheirCalifornia
Indian ancestryto obtaina settlement
share.Descendants
ofgenerationG wereamongCurletti's
clients.The oraland
written
recordindicatesthattheyknewlittleoftheirancestrybeforegeneration E or G. Once on this path, they continued to claim Native Californiaancestrydespite Curletti's
failure to find any. Faced with a deadline in one of these
cases, Curlettisubmitteda letterassertingher clients' right
to judgment fund payments based on descent fromMaria
Paula Rubio (D), whose mother Ursula was an indio from
Baja California. Curletti hoped to take advantage of the
judgment's definitionof California Indians as "all Indians
who were residingin the Stateof Californiaon June 1, 1852,
and theirdescendants now living in said State" (25 USC 14,
Sub. 25, Sec. 651). Curlettiwrote,"So I submitthat although
the original bloodline of Ursula is fromBaja California,she
moved into California a full 200 years ago and her descendants continue to enrich the warp and woof of California

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Haleyand Wilcoxon * Talesof Ethnogenesis 441


being.Paula was consideredIndian and her Indian blood
was respectedby hercontemporaries"
(Curletti1969).
Curletti
reconstructed
descent,butherclaim
accurately
thatPaula'scontemporaries
consideredherIndianappears
unfounded.Ursulawas MariaUrsulaDominguez(C) from
Baja California(see Table 1). Her motherwas a neophyte
of MissionSanta Gertrudis,
Baja California,probablyethnicallyCochimi.Ursula'srecordednaturalfatherwasJuan
JoseDominguez(B), stationedin San Diego when Ursula
arrivedfromBaja Californiain 1778 at roughly15 yearsof
age and marriedMateo Rubio (C). The 1790 census lists
JuanJose as espafiol,Ursula as india, and Mateo Rubio
as europeo;it does not, however,providea caste forMateo and Ursula'schildren,who could have been classified
as eithermestizosor castizos.OtherSpanishand Mexican
recordsclassify
theirchildrenas gentede raz6nratherthan
indios.11Paula Rubio'sdescendantswererecordedas white
in U.S. censuses,and the "old vaquero" in generationF
noted above-whose fatherwas born in Spain according
to hisgrandchildren-wastheoldestlivingancestorin this
line on July1, 1852,the judgment'sdate forqualifying
as
a CaliforniaIndian (Hoar 1852; U.S. Census Bureau1850,
1900, 1910). Curlettiappearsto be the firstauthorityto
classifyUrsula'sdescendantsas Indiansand to assertthat
neo-Chumashhave CaliforniaIndian ancestry.It appears
likelythatmostoftheSantaBarbaraSpanishor Californio
familiesthatsubsequently
becameneo-Chumashgottheir
initialsparkfromCurletti's
research.
In 1969, the two-year-old
Indian Projectat the Uniof
Santa
launchedtheChumash
Barbara,
versity California,
Identification
to
"restore
the'Chumash-ness'"'
Project(n.d.)
to the region.It formeda loose coalitionin 1970 tryingto
uniteChumashand increasepublicawarenessofChumash
culture.Includedamong its 144 foundingmemberswere
enrolledmembersof the federallyrecognizedSanta Ynez
neoBand,SantaBarbaraChumashfamilies,and Curletti's
Chumash. Althoughthe group'sby-lawsrequiredvoting
membersto be Chumashdescendants,no one verifiedanvotersin the firstelectionincluded 11
cestry.Therefore,
membersofgenerations
H-J,one ofwhomwasevenelected
to office.Membersof generationsI and Jthenalso joined
the coalition.Curletti'sinabilityto findtheirostensible
in additionto othercoalitionmembers'
Chumashancestry,
memories of them as Spanish, fueled conflictsthat caused
the Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara Chumash to quit. Therefore,by the late 1970s, the coalition was controlled by generations I and J (O'Connor 1989:13).
Some members of generation Jwere participants in a
non-Indian counterculturalcommune, the leader of which
advanced the idea that Santa Barbara lies in a sacred
space where the Chumash, an ancient civilized race, would
return to prominence after a great apocalypse (Trompf
1990).12

GenerationJparticipants
wereencouragedto ex-

press Chumash identityin these settingsand were inspired


to constructa more satisfyingculture,which theypromoted
as "Chumash Traditionalism."The Chumash Identification
Project's coalition provided participants entree into local

environmental
disputes;there,Chumash identityproved
valuable to developmentopponents.These environmental disputes,ofteninvolvinginterventions
on behalfofthe
neo-Chumashby anthropologists,
earnedthemwiderlegitimacy(Haleyand Wilcoxon1997; O'Connor 1989). The
coalitionalso soughtfederalacknowledgment
as an Indian
tribeforneo-Chumashmembers.Becausefederalacknowltheproedgmentrequirespoliticaland socialcontinuities,
cess fosteredclaimsthatearliergenerations"had to hide
theirIndianness,"went"underground,"
or had "passedas
Mexican."However,the push forfederalacknowledgment
stalledwhenthecoalitionranoutoffundsand a secondgethe lackof Chumashancestryin neonealogistconfirmed
Chumashhistory.
In a recent study, Martha Menchaca uses her
"Chumash"in-lawsto supporther "unconventionalview
thatMexicanAmericanswerepartof the indigenouspeoples of the AmericanSouthwest,"because "by the turnof
the nineteenthcenturya largepart of the mestizocolonial populationwas of southwestern
AmericanIndian descent" (2001:2, 17). However,Menchaca makesa serious
error:She assumesthatcastes,races,and currentidentity
assertionstransparently
reflect
her
ancestry.
Unfortunately,
in-lawsare amongthe neo-Chumashin Figure1, so much
ofMenchaca'sworkis simplyuntenable.Nevertheless,
the
of
Menchaca's
of
neo-Chumash
significance
legitimizing
is its reassertion
and racializingof territorial
primacy-as
when theirCalifornioancestorscalled Mexicans"foreigners."Previously
an advantageofSpanishidentity,
territorial
is
reasserted
now
in
form
to
counterprimacy
indigenous
acttherenewedimmigrant
in
the
loathingrampant
region.
Bornintoan immigrant
Menchacahas both
familyherself,
experiencedand studiedCalifornia'santi-Mexicanprejudice.Ourownresearchconfirms
itsseverity
(Haley1997),so
to a scholar'smotives
againwe findourselvessympathetic
althoughnot necessarilyher scholarship.Menchaca does
not challengetheideologicalbasisofanti-immigrant
prejuitagainstothercategories
dice;instead,shesimplyredirects
ofpeople.
NORMALIZINGNEO-CHUMASHETHNOGENESIS
Froman arbitrary16th-century
startingpoint, we have
tracedchanges in culturalidentitywithinrelatedfami-

lies transiting through various castes, gente sin and de


raz6n, Californio,white,Spanish, and neo-Chumash. These
changes occurredbecause of an inherentdefectof the classificationscheme, as an identitylost salience amidst changing
conditions, as subjects sought higherstatus,or because of a
combination of these. Within this context,the transformation of Santa Barbara Spanish families into neo-Chumash
does not seem unusual. Certainly,it is a revision of history
fromwhole cloth, yet it also reflectsthe local social context in ascertainable ways. Clearly,people can create identities fromwhole cloth if they have access to appropriate
knowledge and outside support, and if the identityfitslocal expectations. Neo-Chumash ethnogenesis is a rejection
of two viable alternativeidentities,whose originstoriesalso

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442 ,American Anthropologist* Vol. 107,No. 3 * September2005


which
objectiveerrors:(1) Spanish-Californio,
incorporate
as formative
stressesthe frontier
yettendsto romanticize
and (2) ChicanoorMexicanAmerican,
and whitenhistory,
"thedewhichracializesMexicanheritageand appropriates
The simultaclineoftheCalifornios"forlaterimmigrants.
neous existenceof all threeidentitieschallengesassumptions that an associationwith Mexico dictatesa unified
identity.
and bordersplay maNation-statepolicies,frontiers,
we have deThe
identities
in
roles
jor
shapingidentity.
scribedincludesome accompaniedby legal sanctionsand
some that are not. The formerinclude colonial castes,
gentede raz6n-gentesin raz6n,U.S. categoriesof "whiteness"preceding1960,Indian,Mexicanin 1930,and immigrant.Those not legallysanctionedincludeCalifornioand
Spanish identities.Caste, white,and neo-Chumash(esp.
judgmentroll'suseofa datetodefine
throughtheCalifornia
CaliforniaIndians) each conflatelegal statuswithorigin,
even thoughprecisionregarding
originwas not crucialto
Thisgivesriseto similarissues.
theoriginalactofclassifying.
of identityby outsidersis one of culturalidenAscription
most
crucialelements(Barth1969). It normallyintity's
contestation.
volvesnegotiationand frequently
Legalsancof
the
formalizes
some
ascriptionprocess,inviting
tioning
contestation.
Contestationof any identitymaytakea pernicious "real" versus"fake"debate form,but this is virtuallyguaranteedwhen legal standingis conflatedwith
notions of ancestry.In the debate over the "indigenizaourdatairrefutably
confirm
Friedman's
tionofmodernity,"
(1999:392-393) "new and strangecombinations"rather
of indigenes.
than MarshallSahlins's(1999) reemergence
But althoughFriedmanclaims that indigenizationcontestsnation-state
hegemony,neo-Chumashidentityarises
in symbiosiswithnation-state
policiesthatassisteditsrise
in the judgmentroll processyet also erectedconstraints
in the federalacknowledgment
process.In a sense, fedconfersa higherstatus,much as a
eral acknowledgment
court'sor official's
decisionabout an individual'scastedid
in the past. A problemforneo-Chumashis thatthe offiis predicatedon one
cial "realness"oftheirchosenidentity
criterionin negotiatingjudgmentroll statusand another
It is preciselythe same probforfederalacknowledgment.
caste and whiteracialstatuses,
lem thatplagued espaftiol

which fromthe outset never conformed to their idealized

purity.
The historicaldata we have presentedare the same sort
officialsuse to evaluate federal acknowledgment applications. Barringa major change in policy,our findingssuggest
that federalacknowledgment is unlikely to be achieved by
these neo-Chumash. This is one potential consequence of
historical social analysis to which we alluded in our introduction. The best option neo-Chumash may have for retaining public identitiesas local indigenes may be what Les
Field (1999) calls a "culturalist"strategy,
which eschews federal acknowledgmentin favorofadopting practicesthought
to be central to a particularidentity.This permitstheir "re-

and
alness"to derivemorefromtheirlevelofcommitment
usefulness
to others(Barth1969). Thishas proveneffective
in establishingand maintainingneo-Chumashlegitimacy
Theongoingdenialor
locallyand in certainwidernetworks.
concealmentofthehistoricalrecordby neo-Chumashand
suggeststhatthingsarenot at thepointreached
supporters
after1790 in Spain'scolonieswhenauthorities
precipitated
caste'scollapseby decliningto declarepeople's caste.We
see no scholarlyneed to demonizeneo-Chumashformakingtheirclaims,and we do not seekto defendtheveracity
and exof theirclaims.Theirsocial historydemonstrates
continuous
reformulation.
Neo-Chumash
plainsidentity's
arewho theyarenow,but not who theyhave alwaysbeen
orevenwho theyarelikelyto alwaysbe. Nevertheless,
with
newsaliencein thecontextofimmigration,
indigenization
ofidentityin theSouthwestis unlikelyto end soon.
BRIAND. HALEYDepartment of Anthropology,State Uni-

ofNewYorkCollegeatOneonta,Oneonta,NY 13820
versity
LARRYR. WILCOXON
Wilcoxon and Associates,Santa
CA
93101
Barbara,
NOTES
Olivera
thebasicgenealogical
Acknowledgments.
Phyllis
compiled
dataforWilcoxonin 1986.Weresumedthestudyin 1999.Research

wasfunded
ofCalifornia
forMexicoand
Institute
bytheUniversity
theUnitedStatesandtheStateUniversity
ofNewYorkCollegeat
Wethank
Oneonta.
thestaffs
oftheSantaBarbara
Mission
Archive
SantaBarbara
Presidio
ofAnthropolArchives;
Library;
Department
MuseumofNatural
GledhillLibrary,
ogy,SantaBarbara
History;

Santa BarbaraHistoricalSocietyMuseum; and Santa Barbara


MichaelKearneygenerouslyshared
GenealogicalSocietyLibrary.
hismanuscript
priortopublication.CynthiaKlink,MichaelBrown,
RichardHandler,FrancesMascia-Lees,
SusanLees,andthreeanonymousAAreviewers
madehelpfulcommentson drafts.
Wealoneare
forall remaining
errorsor omissions.
responsible
1. We arerelievedto see Haleyand Wilcoxon1997 also accurately
(see, e.g., Arnoldet al. 2004; Brown2003:171-204;
represented
WarrenandJackson2002; Weiner1999).
2. Theprimary
sourcesconsistofcolonialexpeditionand garrison
oral and writtenfamily
lists,censuses,churchand civilregisters,
landrecords,
andletters.
histories,
obituaries,
maps,citydirectories,
See thereferences
fordetails.
3. The repfiblica
de espafiolesand reptiblica
de indioswerepolitical distinctions
imposedearlyin thecolonialerato establishdifferentlegalstatuses,settlements,
and obligationsforcolonists
rights,
(espafioles)and thecolonized(indios).
4. The upperchartin Figure2 excludesa siblingrelationship
in
generationB, and both chartsexcludeindividualsin generations
H-J.
5. We use a varietyofterms(ethnonyms)
to denoteidentity
categories.Onlya fewofthemanySpanishcolonialcastetermsappear
in ourdata.Ancestry
foreach casteis putativeand variesconsiderthehighestcasteand fullSpanishancestry;
ably.Espaholdesignated
a low casteof fullsub-SaharanAfricanancestry;and indio,
negro,
a low casteof fullNew Worldancestry.
Presumedmixedancestry
and intermediate
statusesweredesignated
mestizo
(1/2espaiol, 1/2
indio),mulato(1/2espafiol,1/2negro),castizo(3/4espafiol,1/4indio), coyote(3/4indio, 1/4espafiol),and morisco(3/4negro,1/4
to designatea
espafiol).We haveone instanceoftheuse ofeuropeo
(Mason 1998:47highcasteofnon-SpanishfullEuropeanancestry
is theethnonym
chosenbyCalifornia-born
colonial
50). Californio
descendantsduringMexican rule. Neo-Chumash
is our termfor

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HaleyandWilcoxon* TalesofEthnogenesis443
persons who began claiminglocal aboriginal-or Chumashin thelate 1960swho lackthisancestry.
identity
6. Sources:Allen1976:15,18; Anonymous1834; Bancroft188489, 1964; Barrios1999-2000; Bean and Mason 1962:60; Crosby
1994:418,420-421;Eldredge1912; FranciscanFathers1999,n.d.a,
n.d.b, n.d.c, n.d.d, n.d.e; Geiger1972; Gillingham1983; Layne
1934; Lo Buglio1977, 1981; Mason 1998; Northrop1984, 1986;
Ortega1781,1939.
7. Wehavenotfoundcastesfornineimmigrants.
Threeothersnot
recordedin 1790wererecordedat othertimesas espafiol,mestizo,
and indio.See N. 5 forinformation
on terms.
8. Ex-grantees
Josede la Asenci6nDominguez(E) andJoseRam6n
Romero(F) werelistedas laborersin 1860 and 1880,respectively
82, Sheet
(U.S. Census Bureau1860:181, 1870:475,1880:District
16).
9. Two in generationF ownedland thatdid not produceenough
to supportthem.
10. See Santa BarbaraCity Directory1943. Also U.S. Census
150 Sheet5A,District154 Sheets13Aand B, District
1900:District
155 Sheet3A; 1910:District166 Sheet9B, District172 Sheet5A,
District173 Sheet13B,District221 Sheet9B; 1930:District
8 Sheet
16A,District54 Sheet6B.
11. See Bancroft1964:122-123;FranciscanFathers1999: July4,
1793; Gillingham1983:86,191-192,392; Layne1934:202;Mason
1998:78;Northrop1986:125,289.
12. We have mentionedcountercultural
influencespreviously
(Erlandsonet al. 1998:505; Haley 2002:116) withoutexplaining
theroleofthosecommunities'
beliefs.Reference
hereis notto the
communeofthelateSemuHuaute.
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