The first Chumash people were created on Santa Cruz Island. They were made from the seeds of a magic plant by the Earth Goddess, Hutash.
Hutash was married to Sky Snake, the Milky Way. He could make lightening bolts with his tongue. One day, he decided to make a gift to the Chumash people. He sent down a bolt of lightening and started a fire. After this, people kept fires burning so that they could keep warm and also cook their food.
In those days, the Condor was a white bird. However, the Condor was very curious about the fire he saw burning in the Chumash Village below, and he wanted to find out what it was. So, he flew very low over the fire to get a better look, but he flew too close . . . he got his feathers scorched and they turned black. So now the Condor is a black bird with only a little white feathers under the wings where they didn’t get burned.
After Sky Snake gave the Chumash people fire, they lived much more comfortably. More people were born each year, and their villages got bigger. Santa Cruz Island became crowded. The noise the people made was starting to annoy Hutash because it kept her awake at night. She decided some of the Chumash people would have to move off the island. They would have to go to the mainland, where there weren’t any people.
But how were the people going to get across the water to the mainland? After much thought, Hutash came up with the idea of making a bridge out of a rainbow. She made a very long, very high rainbow, which stretched from the tallest mountain on Santa Cruz Island all the way to the tall mountains near Carpinteria.
Hutash told the people to go across the Rainbow Bridge, and fill the whole world with people. The Chumash people started to go across the bridge. Some of them got across safely, but some made the mistake of looking down. It was a long way down to the water, and the fog was swirling around. They got so dizzy that some of the people fell off the Rainbow Bridge, down through the fog into the ocean. Hutash felt very bad about this because she had told them to cross the bridge. She didn’t want them to drown. So, instead, she turned them into dolphins. So the Chumash always said that dolphins are their brothers.