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Education
In This Issue   Barbareño Chumash Heritage Garden  
  Director's Foreword 1
  Ecological Restoration 3
  Education 5
 
        Collections 8
        Field Notes 9
  Research 12
  15
  18
  20
  21
   













  Of all the diverse cultures and places included within the historic Chumash range, it was the Coastal or Barbareño Band who had the grandest historic villages and towns, with permanent settlements of over 1000 people each.  



    Wayne Chapman     
  One of the best things about restoring native ecosystems and planting native plants on campus is the benefits they bring to our local landscape and wildlife.  Equally interesting and important however, is the fact that these plants have great meaning to people as well.  And no group of people knows the value of these plants better than the Coastal Band of Chumash Indians.  For thousands of years, diverse groups and cultures now collectively known as the Chumash have called this region of southern California home.  Of all the diverse cultures and places included within the historic Chumash range, it was the Coastal or Barbareño Band who had the grandest historic villages and towns, with permanent settlements of over 1000 people each.  These were all centered around Goleta Slough, and one of these, the town of Heli’yuk, sat squarely on campus. 

 

Coastal Chumash
Mortar Bowl
An assortment of plants native to the area, all with special significance
to the Coastal Chumash, are on display at the garden.
Mortar bowl, acorn meal, and soap lily fiber brush.
 
The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration recently had the honor of installing the Barbareño Chumash Heritage Garden, in association with the American Indian Cultural Resource Center, located outside the new Student Resource Building. Organically grown from locally collected seeds, a sample of our wild heirlooms, all with special significance to the Chumash, are now on living display at the garden.  Along with the garden, interpretive signage graciously edited by Barbareño Chumash ethnobotanist Julie Cordero-Lamb is soon to follow.

 
  Among the plants installed are what the Chumash call shtemelel or giant rye grass (Leymus condensatus), kapshik or white sage (Salvia apiana), mexme’y or basket rush (Juncus textilis), ‘onchochi or yerba mansa (Anemopsis californica), and tok or dogbane (Apocynum cannibinum).  Come in the middle of the day and you still have time to catch spring wildflowers in bloom; redmaids (Calindrinia cilliata) are one of these.  Called xutash in Barbareño Chumash, the seeds of these plants were once a highly prized staple food.  When the grave of a Chumash child was excavated on Mescalitan Island (at the current site of the Goleta wastewater treatment plant) a basket full of these seeds was found placed inside.

If you visit in the afternoon or evening, when the shadows hit the garden, you will see the xutash and poppies closing their flowers for the night.  It is at this time the creamy white flowers of sto’yoc, or soap lily (Chlorogalum pomiderianum), are just beginning to open.  Pollinated by moths, these beautiful native lilies advertise when the day is ending, lending an ever-changing look to the garden as distinct as the seasons.  This plant, like the others, has many uses.  From the crushed bulb a soapy lather can be derived, which is good for washing.  Cooking the edible bulb slowly removes the soap, and the brown liquid that emerges in the cooking process is useful as glue.   From the fibrous husk that surrounds the bulb, brushes are made--brushes that swept acorn meal from many mortars, for thousands of years, right here on campus.  Our campus now has one more patch of native vegetation to remind and educate students, staff, faculty, and visitors about the heritage of this place.
 
   
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