The Chumash's name for themselves is Shamala (pronounced with the 's' and 'h' separated). The word čhumaš means "islander".
The Chumash were hunter-gatherers, who specialized in fishing. Some settlements built plank canoes called tomols, which could even be used for whaling. Remains of a developed Chumash culture, including rock paintings apparently depicting the Chumash cosmology, can still be seen.