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John Peabody Harrington

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 2010 | By Steve Chawkins
Everyone thought the tall, strange white man was some kind of genius. But to teenage Ernestine De Soto he was a giant pain in the neck, a nosy, "Ichabod Crane-like" character who drew her mother's attention from its rightful place -- on her. John Peabody Harrington studied De Soto's Chumash family for nearly 50 years, pumping her great-grandmother, her grandmother and her mother for the tiniest details of their lives. Everything fascinated him: the Chumash names of places mostly forgotten, of fish no longer caught -- even, to the family's puzzlement, of private parts never discussed in polite company.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 31, 2010 | By Steve Chawkins
Everyone thought the tall, strange white man was some kind of genius. But to teenage Ernestine De Soto he was a giant pain in the neck, a nosy, "Ichabod Crane-like" character who drew her mother's attention from its rightful place -- on her. John Peabody Harrington studied De Soto's Chumash family for nearly 50 years, pumping her great-grandmother, her grandmother and her mother for the tiniest details of their lives. Everything fascinated him: the Chumash names of places mostly forgotten, of fish no longer caught -- even, to the family's puzzlement, of private parts never discussed in polite company.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 7, 1998 | COLL METCALFE
Noted Chumash storyteller Gilbert Unzuela will host a program at the Strathearn Historical Park and Museum in Simi Valley about the world of Ventura County's earliest residents. Beginning at 2 p.m. Aug. 22, Unzuela will tell stories of these early people and explain how they interpreted the world around them.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 10, 1990 | GARY GORMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Chumash Indians were the first indigenous people the Spanish encountered in what is now California, historians say, and they were the most advanced in technology, commerce and material prosperity. But hardly anybody bothered to take notes. In 1923, pioneering anthropologist A.L. Kroeber wrote: "There is no group in the state that once held the importance of the Chumash concerning which we know so little."
NEWS
February 17, 2008 | Juliana Barbassa, Associated Press
The first time Jose Freeman heard his tribe's lost language through the crackle of a 70-year-old recording, he cried. "My ancestors were speaking to me," said Freeman of the sounds captured when American Indians still inhabited California's Salinas Valley. "It was like coming home." Although the last native speaker of Salinan died almost half a century ago, more and more indigenous people are finding their extinct or endangered tongues, one word or song at a time, thanks to a late linguist and some UC Davis scholars who are working to transcribe his life's obsession.
NEWS
October 24, 1996 | DENNIS McLELLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Bill McCawley has been fascinated by Southern California history since he was a kid growing up in Long Beach in the 1960s, a time when there were still wide open fields waiting to be explored by children hoping to find Indian arrowheads and dinosaur bones. He got his first real glimpse into the history of the area when he took a class at Cal State Long Beach taught by Frank Fenenga.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 2004 | Mike Anton, Times Staff Writer
Few understood the true significance of John Peabody Harrington's work when he died at age 77. For some 50 years, the linguist and anthropologist had crisscrossed California and the West, cheating the grave by finding the last speakers of ancient Native American tongues and writing down their words and customs. Secretive and paranoid, Harrington was a packrat who stuffed much of his work into boxes, crates and steamer trunks.
NEWS
October 4, 1996 | DENNIS McLELLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Bill McCawley of Midway City has been fascinated by Southern California history since he was a kid growing up in Long Beach in the 1960s, a time when there were still wide open fields waiting to be explored by children hoping to find Indian arrowheads and dinosaur bones. He got his first real glimpse into the history of the area when he took a class at Cal State Long Beach taught by Frank Fenenga.
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