Purisimeño

The Purisimeño language was traditionally spoken along the Pacific coast around what is today Lompoc. During the mission period, it was spoken at Mission La Purísima Concepción. Purisimeño is attested solely in some wordlists and miscellaneous materials. 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). Today, there are no first-language speakers of any Chumashan language.

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.)

Purisimeño is a member of the Chumashan language family; the others are Barbareño, Ineseño, Interior Chumash, Island Chumash, Obispeño, and Ventureño.

Selected archival materials at Berkeley

Further reading

  • 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]

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