1. "When the Spaniards made their first contact with California's aborigines they applied abrasive adjectives to the coastal tribesmen, ranging from 'uncivilized' to 'swinelike.' Happily the South Coast's Chumash Indians received high marks for appearance and deportment, but in following years Caucasians were prone to brush off all California natives as 'Digger Indians'. The Franciscans' efforts to Christianize and regiment the natives into an agriculture lifestyle, plus white men's diseases, hastened the extinction of the coastal Indians--the last full-flooded Chumash died here 22 years ago--and the written record of their culture leaves little for future anthropologists to go on. The extensive Indian population of interior Santa Barbara County, for example, has been almost untouched by scholars engaged in such research.
"Betty Brusa, a native of the Salinas Valley, has searched out all available records of the Indians in her area and has collated them into a vivid and charming volume of considerable information and interest, the first such volume written with the lay reader in mind. She also includes chapters covering neighbors of the Salinans....This is the second in a series of American Indian map books put out by Naturegraph, which specializes in natural history and Indian lore. A map of the regional tribes is included. The book is recommended, especially for Indian buffs." (Walker A. Tempkins, Santa Barbara News-Press, Sept. 6, 1975)
2. "This is a convenient handbook of facts and legends concerning the Salinans and their neighbors, the Esselen, the Costanoans, the Chumash, and the Yokuts. It is a compendium drawn from extensive bibliography of authoritative works on the primitive peoples of Central California, dating back to Pedro Fages and Francisco Palou, and including such noted names as A. L. Kroeber. Perhaps its most valuable feature is a map of California showing the tribal divisions and boundaries, the Indian villages, and their relation to modern cities. Black and white illustrations by Eugenia Bonnot add to the attractiveness of the paperbound volume. The author and her family are long-time residents of the Salinas Valley." (John R. Woolfenden, Peninsula Herald, July 13, 1975)