Southern CA Indian Adaptations

A definition of the Indian, biological and cultural adaptation and the Cahuilla and Chumash groups.

As soon as humans crossed the land bridge to the Americas and began to settle here they also began a process of adaptations to their new world. Some of these adaptations would prove successful and some less so, although the definition of human success is sufficiently complex to preclude any simple assessment of various adaptations. This paper briefly reviews the idea of both cultural and biological adaptations before looking specifically at the types of adaptations made by two American Indian groups that settled in Southern California with an attempt to assess the functionality of their choices.

The fact that American Indians have been dramatically reduced in population and power in the last half-millennium indicates that at some level their adaptations were dysfunctional ones. However, a tenet of evolutionary theory is that one can…