The coronavirus pandemic didn’t stop the Santa Ynez Chumash Tribal Hall from celebrating its 14th annual Culture Day.
While the tribe couldn’t hold its arts and crafts and traditional hand-game tournament at the Tribal Hall on the Santa Ynez Reservation, it decided to go virtual.
Members of different Chumash tribes in California performed California-style Native American singing and dancing on camera for a Facebook livestream on Friday afternoon.
The event began with the calling of the people, followed by an opening prayer.
Tribe members then announced community honors.
Dr. Niki Sandoval, a Chumash descendant, was honored for spending the past 12 years serving as the tribe’s education department director. She has incorporated Samala language and other cultural teachings into the Learning Center’s programming.
Manuel “Bo” Armenta was also honored, serving as the tribe’s Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act representative and chairman of its Elders Council for several years. He’s helped preserve some of the tribe’s oldest history, artifacts and traditions.
Lastly, Chris Stevenson, a Chumash tribal descendant, was honored. He works with Coast Valley Child Welfare Services as a drug and alcohol counselor.
Women from the Samala Chumash performed traditional songs and dances while playing instruments. Tribe members and descendants of all ages performed, honoring their tribe.
After the performances, the tribe played a slideshow of photos from Chumash Culture Days in the past.