The santa barbara city council votes to change the name of Indio Muerto street to “Hutash.” That means earth mother in the Chumash language.
Indio Muerto means, “dead Indian.” It was given that name by Salisbury Haley, who surveyed the street in 1851. Mr. Haley discovered the remains of deceased Indian while doing the street survey. That’s why he named it, “Indio Muerto.”
Santa Barbara historian Neal Graffy defended the historic name. He said, “despite all the rhetoric that ‘Indio Muerto’ reflects a racist, hateful name, it simply is not true.” He says, “it has absolutely nothing to do with all the charges that have been wrapped around it.” He says, “the simple fact is for 169 years, Indio Muerto is the only monument to the burial place of an unknown native American who died alone in the empty fields of Santa Barbara.”
The council voted 7-0 to change the name. It will cost the city of Santa Barbara about $15,000 to change nine street signs from Indo Muerto to Hutash.