The topic that will be discussed in the paper is related to the Hofstede model of national culture analysis and cultural peculiarities of the Samala Chumash American tribe according to the mentioned pattern. Samala Chumash tribe has a rich history and traditions, as well as strong respect for its roots. Thus, a brief historical summary of Chumash tribes will be given to describe their culture within the scope of the Hofstede model consistently.
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The Chumash have a division into several tribes due to the particulars of their geographical, historical locations. Erlandson states that “the Chumash are … the best documented of California coastal tribes with a wealth of historical … data available” (15). Haley and Wilcoxon say, “individuals have shed former ethnic identities to become Chumash following transformative life crises and experiences” (766). The Samala Chumash have walked a sophisticated way from “A tribe of traders” (Sonneborn 9) to a federally recognized tribe.
Furthermore, a lot of ancient abstract paintings of the Chumash have preserved to the present and visualize supernatural beginnings, which allow scholars to study their customs (Grant 77). The tribe had its language, unique clothing, food, and special events; they have lived in southern California for more than 3000 years. Moreover, traditional Chumash-specific knowledge survived into the present century (Timbrook 236). Nevertheless, there is only one tribe that has become a federally recognized one – the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Mission Indians (members of this tribe call themselves Samala).
Samala Chumash tribe has an official website, educational programs and is considerably included in the economic and political life of the US. The Samala claim that their “culture hasn’t been erased” and that they “survived because of our [Samala] strength as a tribe and our spiritual connection to Chumash heritage” (“Chumash Culture”). They have donated about $14 million to diversified organizations in the community; they have developed tribal government and administration. Thus, the data available allows discussing the Samala tribe within the scope of the Hofstede model.
The pattern has six dimensions: power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism versus collectivism, masculinity versus femininity, long-term versus short-term orientation, indulgence versus restraint (Hofstede 8; Hofstede insights). Samala might have a small degree of power distance as its members tend to take an active part in the political life of the tribe. The uncertainty avoidance index might be quite high for the Samala Chumash as they regularly discuss their future destiny and possible petitions on their official web page. The Chumash might be more inclined to collectivism as they state, for instance, that their “tribal families want to live together in one community” (“Camp 4 Fact Sheet”).
Their culture may be feminine as it stands for caring for the weak and quality of life, which is evident from their official web sources. The Samala Chumash maybe long-term oriented as they develop many projects of diverse characters to support their culture. Their society might be an indulgent one as it has plenty of traditional occasions and festivals, encouraging all the members to join such events.
All things considered, it seems reasonable to assume that the Samala Chumash American tribe has a rich culture, history, and traditions. It provided an opportunity to analyze the tribe within the Hofstede model. It was concluded that the Samala might have low power distance and high uncertainty avoidance index, be a society of collectivism, be a feminine society, have a long-term orientation, and have a high degree of indulgence.
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