SAVE THE DATE
Date: December 13, 2014
Time: 2:00 P.M. - 5:00 P.M.
* Painting Her Past*
Thousand Oaks Acorn January 16, 2014
by Doreen Principe
With every new pictograph she paints, Sarafina Julian gets to know her culture just a little bit more.
The 16 - year old Thousand Oaks resident, who is of Chumash descent, has actively embraced local Native American traditions her whole life.
As a young child she was often seen dressed in full Chumash regelia and dancing in local and regional powwows.
Today the teenager is exploring her heritage in a different way.
Sarafina, the granddaughter of prominent Chumash elder Beverly Folkes, has recently become the resident arisit for the Chumash Indian Museum's tile dedication program-a fundraising project that allows communitly members to leave their mark on the area's living history.
Residents who donate a minimum of $50 to support the museum at 3290 Lang Ranch Parkway in Thousand Oaks can have a unique tile permanently placed in the wall under it new tomol (canoe) exhibit.
Each tile, which displays a name chosen by the doner, features a hand-painted pictorgraph by Sarafina.
"Pictographs are the little drawings that the Chumash used to do on the cave walls to tell a story," the Oaks Christian School junior explained
"There are hundreds of them. When it comes to their meanings, I don't know all of them yet. Each tile I do, I learn something new."
Sarafina's grandmother, who sits on the board of directors at the Chumash Indian Museum, said the board launched its tile dedication program last year in an effort to involve the larger community and to thank its supporters
"Some of the tiles are bought for children and others are bought for family members they have lost.," Folkes said. "We cement them into the wall of the museum, and they can come in and see their tiles for years to come."
"In order to stay true to tradition, the board wanted someone of Chumash descent to paint the pictographs," she said.
That's when Folkes suggested the idea to her granddaughter.
"I've always been very interested in art," Sarafina said. "I've always loved to draw, paint, sing, and dance, ever since I was a little kid. I feel happy to paint the tiles because I get to give back to the Chumah center and research more into my culture as I do it."
Since the program was launched, Sarafina has painted nearly 50 different tiles. Most are already on display.
The wall and the tomol exhibit were unvailed at the museum's annual open house in December.
A few spaces are still available.
VISITORS TO THE CHUMASH INDIAN MUSEUM MAY DONATE A MINIMUM OF $50.00 TO HAVE A TILE WITH THEIR NAME ON IT PLACED WITH THE TOMOL EXHIBIT. YOU WILL ALSO BE GIVEN FREE ADMISSION TO SEE YOUR NAME TILE. A FEW SPACES ARE STILL AVAILABLE.
YOUR TILES WILL BE PAINTED BY BARBARENO ARTIST JAY UNZUETA & VENTURENO CHUMASH SARAFINA JULIAN.
PLEASE STOP BY THE MUSEUM FOR A FORM OR CALL TO HAVE A FORM MAILED TO YOU.
For more information, contact the museum
3290 Lang Ranch Parkway
Thousand Oaks, California 91362
Photography by Sean Mahan
copyright © Chumash Indian Museum