Video: Chumash elder and storyteller Julie Tumamait Stenslie tells myths and legends from her Ventureno Chumash tradition, and was featured in 2012 at the Ojai Foundation.
“Chumash, A Living Culture, with Julie Tumamait” Music by Carlos Reynosa. Film by Viola Gaskell, Damon Jacoby & Violeta Palombo Levy.
Chumash Mythology with Storyteller & Chumash Elder Julie Tumamait-Stenslie
By popular demand, the Joseph Campbell Foundation RoundTable® (http://www.jcf.org/new/index.php) continued its exploration of Chumash Cosmology in January of 2012 at The Ojai Foundation (http://www.ojaifoundation.org/) in Ojai, California.
They welcomed Southern California’s honored, skilled, and respected storyteller, Julie Tumamait-Stenslie. Julie is an amazing and engaging storyteller. She will share stories of death and resurrection, stories still alive today with lessons reinforced by a look in the night skies or a walk in the wilderness. Particular sharing will be The Story of Anucwa and The Boys Who Turned to Geese.
The Boys Who Turned to Geese – Chumash Story
Long ago, when animals were people, there was a little boy whose mother and stepfather wouldn’t give him anything to eat, though they had plenty for themselves. So the boy went off to find his own food and met another boy who was also abandoned. Raccoon came along, felt sorry for the two boys, and helped them dig roots to eat. In the next few days, five more hungry abandoned boys came by, and they all went to stay with Raccoon in the temescal (sweathouse). Finally they decided to go north and take Raccoon with them. So they sprinkled themselves with goose down and sang songs. For three days they went around the temescal, singing and rising higher and higher off the ground. But Raccoon couldn’t fly even though he was covered with goose down. All the mothers came to see the boys and begged them to come down, but they refused. They all turned into geese and flew away to the north, to become the seven stars we call the Pleiades. And when geese cry, they sound just like a little boy.
Cecilia Garcia teaches Chumash traditional spirit healing with prayers, laughter, dreaming, herbal medicines and aromatherapy, which leads to mending the body’s physical processes.
Celestial objects were cast in the role of powerful, competitive sky beings. Their behavior was believed to affect the outcome of human affairs, and, indeed, the balance of the entire universe.
The world covered in a blanket of darkness, the rock, plant, and animal people found through cooperation and council to give thanks for the goodness of Mother Earth and Grandfather Sun, and let the light shine down.