Greeting the San Salvador

By Old Spanish Days Fiesta

Members of the local Chumash community greet the arrival of the San Salvador into our local waters for Fiesta.

The San Salvador is a full-size replica of the ship sailed by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo in 1542. Free public tours were held throughout the weekend.

Photo by Isaac Hernandez 

Photo by Isaac Hernandez 



Written by Old Spanish Day

What do you think?


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    • “How in the ___ could anyone make that statement?” – Amazing, isn’t it? Sounds like someone had a late night and got brutally honest. This is the thinking of the far right. They usually keep that to their whispers and dog whistles but sometimes it just comes blathering right out…

    • Thanks, Alex. I did forget! Maybe I’ve been reading too many liberal history textbooks and was definitely indoctrinated from K-12 in this “liberal bubble” I live in. A great example of my faulty understanding of American history has been brought forth by DeSantis, who reminds us that slaves actually benefitted from captivity, learning new trades and such.

    • Sac, you just don’t get it. Slaves liked being slaves. People in some areas appreciate people from other areas coming and through force of arms converting them to different religions. People that lived here a long time ago really disliked their languages and their names and asked the Spaniards to take away their original name and ban the practice of their religions. People that live in some areas with natural resources like gold really appreciated the Spaniards taking away those resources by force of arms and sending them away to be melted down and used as money and religious icons.
      Come on dude, you’re wokeness is keeping you from understanding what the people who lived here five hundred years ago really and genuinely wanted.

    • OMG my comment was deleted.
      Okay, I will restate.
      Babycakes, on what basis could you possibly make the statement that the Chumash peoples of this area considered the arrival of the Spanish to be a liberation? What evidence do you have, considering that there is no surviving Chumash account of the interaction that could support your claim that the Chumash welcomed the Spanish arrival on the first or second occasion and considered that their arrival somehow equaled “Freedom” for the Chumash.

  1. Incredible to see that Native Americans can be found who celebrate their own genocide and reenact for a pboto opportunity of the horrendous history. So sad.
    It is cool that the ship was rebuilt and it is beautiful, however, knowing the wideranging injustice and terrible events and treaments of others during that time, it is hard to understand why people of any race amd origin would celebrate this. Beyond in bad taste on everyone’s account and tone deaf.
    The almighty dollar wins the race against decency again. Sickening.

  2. Anyone who lives here is in some way, indirectly, benefiting from the conquests. If we want to make it right, then lets return the land lock stock and barrel, including getting rid of all the houses built by white folks for the most part (or at least financed), and all the stores, etc. Return it all back to who, according to some, truly own it.

  3. The idea that land was “stolen” from others is so lazy. If “others” were using the land for their own subsistence one might give them priority rights over others but the Americas were vast open spaces with a few highly dispersed populations. Yes, the Chumash were using these lands at the time the Spanish came over but it is unclear that they objected to sharing it with the new people. The bottom line is that the Spanish came with the idea of “conquest” and cultural annihilation. This is what we should condemn.

  4. It was the time of global exploration and, like now, governments claimed “unclaimed” land for their countries. Thus Spain claimed the the western part of the “New World” . We were called “New Spain. There are very few Native Americans today who are not of mixed heritage now. We should honor and respect the way they lived including the fact that they were peaceful when they encountered the people in the great ships with flying sails as they paddled out in their beautifully built tomols. Without the Chumash, Santa Barbara might not have become successful. As a curious and intelligent people they began to work for the Missionaries. Then, as now, the conquerors were not necessarily respectful or kind to the laborers of a different race, religion and culture. Missionaries of many religions are still out in the world trying to change the ways of indigenous peoples. Businesses and others are still taking their land. We can learn from what happened but we can not go back. Imagine the population decrease that would have to occur. It would be good for the planet.

  5. To All: The marketing slogan that the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians have been using for at least the past couple of years in print, radio, and television is…….”Welcome To Freedom” ….yep, that’s coming from the Chumash themselves folks. I don’t think the slogan is racist, bigoted, or hateful, but others may feel differently.

  6. I can’t speak about the Chumash in particular, but in general it is well known that Native American tribes fought each other constantly and bitterly, long before white man showed up. In fact, skillfully playing often vicious inter-tribal hatreds off one another was a key factor in how Europeans so easily colonialized America. Remember: oppressed peoples can be just as immoral (or amoral) as their oppressors.

  7. The Chumash and their ancestors lived on their land for 9.000 -13,000 years before the Europeans came. Cabrillo, a Spaniard, arrived in 1542. Much like the Indians on the east coast who met the pilgrims (and for which everyone now celebrates Thanksgiving), the Chumash greeted him . 227 years went by for them in relative peace and normalcy. The Portola expedition arrived in 1769, followed by the Christian missionaries. Hindsight is 20/20, but the Spanish colonization which ensued thereafter killed off, in one generation 95% of the indigneous people. Rather than assimilate and respect the native american culture, the Spanish, Mexican, and American settlers killed, drove off, or enslaved them to build the missions.

  8. Some Native Americans fought the Spanish and the Christian missionaries: a rebellion burned the Mission San Diego de Alcala to the ground. A few native americans that survived the diseases like measles and smallpox that the Europeans brought with them, did embrace the ideas the Christians were selling, like love one another, live together in a communal setting, community–things the Chumash had been doing successfully for thousands of years. On the one hand, the Chumash story is a story of a small but highly intelligent civilization which contributed the tomol plank canoe, controlled forest burning, currency, trade, seamanship. The Chumash story is also a story of genocide and enslavement. In the end, the Chumash story is a story of survival against great odds. Let’s join with them and support their idea of a Chumash Marine Sanctuary consisting of 7,000 square miles of territory and 156 miles of California coastline which is currently going through the Federal government approval process. Let’s visit the Chumash Cultural Center which is being built and estimated to open in Santa Ynez this fall. By all means let’s support the Chumash Casino which ironically and in a small way, transforms the riches of today’s European/American/Hispanic tourists into a fungible Chumash asset: profit.

  9. Finally, and I’ll rest my case on this political point. In his 1851 State of the State Address, Peter Hardeman Burnett, California’s first Governor declared “[t]hat a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the two races until the Indian race becomes extinct must be expected.” Subsequently, the state authorized $1.29 million in 1850’s dollars to subsidize militia campaigns to do just that. In other words, 82 years after the arrival of the Portola expedition in California, the highest elected leader supported genocide of the existing native american race.

  10. I concur that native american tribes fought amongst each other. Variations in dialect led to communication barriers. Lack or abundance of food, water, men, women, led to conflict. Even living next to the most abundant source of food on the planet, the Santa Barbara Channel, the Chumash people survived in relatively small tribes as big as the environment could sustain. Of course, there was inter-tribal warfare. In 1542, an estimated 300,000 indigenous people lived in 80 tribal groups in California. They spoke 100’s of languages. But along come Spanish explorers, monks, and colonists in the south and Russian fur traders in the north. Then Mexican soldiers and their families, and later Americans settlers, prospectors, and capitalists . That’s when near annihilation of the native species commenced. BTW, today, approximately 10,200 tribe members claim Chumash identity according to the U.S. Census.

  11. I am sorry I missed seeing that beautiful replica of history.
    Maybe we should all be glad the Europeans came. Do you really think this giant continent would still be sitting here unconquered?? Maybe the Chinese or Russians could have conquered instead. We DO have unusual freedoms because the conquerors were European.
    History is brutal. No doubt about it.

    • What World does Sacjon live in…. I know a BUBBLE…! Dude, get a grip on the history of mankind the last 1000 years or so. Clue in, the World was a BRUTAL animalistic place where only the strong survived and persevered. Wow, I can’t believe some of these posts, it’s like they have never read autobiographies of how people lived around the world…

    • SZQ – a lot of speculation there, but it’s true – someone probably would have taken this land from the indigenous people, just like has happened all over the world at some point in history. That doesn’t make it OK that our ancestors did what they did though. Who knows, maybe the Chinese or Russians would have been more kind, assimilated with the local population more? Lot’s of what if’s, but there’s one indisputable fact: what the Spanish and then later the American colonists did to the Native Americans was abhorrent. And their racist and evil tendencies didn’t stop there….

    • COAST – thanks for reminding me, I forgot to add you to the list of useless right wing trolls here. So, did you even read my comment? I said nothing different from what you’re saying other than I indicated that what we did to the Native Americans was “racist and evil.” You don’t agree? Of course not, that’s why you lashed out at me for living in a “bubble.”
      So, do tell us, is being racist and evil and trying to kill off an entire population just part of “mankind” or whatever you’re trying to say? You think people commenting here that what we did to the Native Americans was bad are just being what…. inhumane?
      More likely, you didn’t even read it at all. Just saw my name, the word “racist,” and flew into another one of your ignorantl, simple minded tirades. Pathetic.

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