The ninth annual Santa Ynez Chumash Culture Days, which is devoted to honoring and showcasing California-style Native American singing and dancing, will be held at the Santa Ynez Chumash Reservation during the weekend of Oct. 17–18, 2015.
Numerous booths featuring Native American arts and crafts will be on display, along with a food booth featuring traditional fare. The event is free and open to the public.
“Culture Days is an opportunity for members of the community to come to our reservation and experience different elements of Chumash culture,” said Nakia Zavalla, Cultural Director for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “The singing, dancing, food and artistry make it a great event for all ages.”
On Saturday, Oct. 17, the day will open at 1 p.m. with a blessing followed by an honoring of elders. The afternoon will include California native dancing from 2–5 p.m.
A traditional handgame tournament will start at dusk, with teams competing for first-place ($1,000), second-place ($750) and third-place ($500) prizes. There will be storytelling in the evening from 7–10 p.m.
On Sunday, Oct. 18, the opening blessing will begin at 11:30 a.m., followed by dancing from 12–2:15 p.m.
The Native California singing contest, scheduled for 2:30 p.m., will include first-place ($300), second-place ($200) and third-place ($100) prizes.
Chumash Culture Days are sponsored by the Tribal Elders Council and the Cultural Department of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. The council is a division of the tribal government that is responsible for preserving cultural resources and maintaining the tribe’s heritage, history and traditions.
The Chumash reservation is located at 100 Via Juana Lane, Santa Ynez. For more information, please visit www.santaynezchumash.org/culture.
— Mike Traphagen is the public relations specialist for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.