The later evolution of Chumash polities in various subareas, including the Channel Islands, has attracted considerable scholarly attention. Most investigations on this topic during the past decade have focused on economic and political evolution through the use of residential data (e.g., Arnold 1992a; Arnold, ed. 2001; Kennett 1998). Earlier, and now again with the publication of Gamble et al. (2001), cemetery data are marshaled to examine cultural change. While we applaud this recent effort, the utility of the results is constrained ultimately by factors including the representativeness of the excavated Malibu cemetery data, Mission period disruption of Ventureño Chumash culture, and insufficient attention to the consequences of mourning ceremonies. The authors add to an understanding of later Ventureño mortuary behavior, but their discussion conflates social ranking and political evolution. The results do not, contrary to their expectations, alter extant interpretations of Island Chumash production, specialization, and trade, nor the timing of changes in islanders' labor organization and political integration. The ultimate logical implication of their discussion would be that a single Chumash chiefdom evolved before (within?) the Middle period and operated in lockstep throughout the region—joining the Ventureño and Island Chumash at the political hip, so to speak. We see no evidence to support any part of this proposition for either of the subregions in question.