GOINGS ON / SANTA BARBARA : Weaving a Spell : Two artisans will display basketry of the Santa Ynez Indians and conduct a crafts workshop.


Juanita Centeno is finding it more and more difficult to maintain the style of craft work she grew up with on the Santa Ynez Indian Reservation.

"People have bought the wetlands and the marshes and built houses on top of them," she said. "We have no means of going to gather material for our basketry--all the plants our ancestors used."

Though the cattails, the tules, the bull rush, the reeds and the willows are harder to come by, Centeno is doing what she can to keep the craft tradition alive and to teach it to others.

She and partner Jose Castillo will display their work and lead a workshop during the "Chumash Artways" presentation at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon.

Centeno and Castillo will show off their basketry, whistles, fishhooks and clapper sticks--the musical instruments of the Santa Ynez Indians. The first 50 people to arrive will have a chance to make their own acorn necklaces or instruments.

"We try to stay with the culture, but it's impossible. We have to use modern stuff," said Centeno. "I am making a wetlands in my back yard to see if I can grow some of our plants."

General admission is $3 (adults), $2 (seniors and children age 13 to 17) and $1 (children under 12). The museum is located at 2559 Puesta del Sol Road. For more information call 682-4711.

Seen any good exonumia lately?

If the answer is "no" or "beats me," the place to be Saturday or Sunday may be the Convention Center at the Miramar Hotel in Montecito. That's where the Santa Barbara Coin Club will host its 34th Annual Coin Show.

For those afraid to ask, exonumia are trade tokens, medals, scrip, things used in place of money, said club president Stan Griffeth. He expects collectors from Ventura and Santa Barbara to drop by with samples dating back at least 100 years.

Griffeth said some of the about 50 collectors expected to attend will bring ancient Greek and Roman coins. "The Greek coins would go back to 600 or 700 B. C.," he said. "Hopefully some of the dealers would also bring antiquities--whether it be vases, pottery, whatever."

There will also be stamps, sports cards, paper money and postcards to ogle. The show will run from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. The hotel is located at 1555 S. Jameson Lane.

Film buffs, young and old, will be pretty busy too.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art will continue its summer children's film series Saturday and Sunday with adaptations of four stories: "Really Rosie!," "The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin," "The Amazing Bone" and "Wings: A Tale of Two Chickens." There will be two shows on both days, at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Admission is $3 (adults) and $1 (children under 12). The museum is located at 1130 State St.

UC Santa Barbara will continue its summer cinema series as well, with the French films "My Father's Glory" (tonight) and "My Mother's Castle" (Sunday). The two films are based on the childhood memories of French author and director Marcel Pagnol. The films will be shown at the university's Campbell Hall. Show time is 7 p.m. General admission is $5. For more information call 893-3535.

On the subject of French films, tonight is the last chance to see the Victoria Street Theater's presentation of "Wages of Fear," the 1953 drama starring Yves Montand. It's the story of four men who risk their lives hauling nitroglycerin through South America. Admission is $6 (adults) and $4 (seniors). The theater is at 33 W. Victoria St. Call 963-7868.

In keeping with the French theme, you can celebrate Bastille Day Weekend on Saturday and Sunday in appropriate fashion, with the Fifth Annual Santa Barbara French Festival at Oak Park. There will be French food, music, dancing, crafts and travel films, not to mention the giant replica of the Eiffel Tower and an authentic French poodle parade. (The parade is Sunday at 5 p.m.). Admission is free. The festival will run from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. both days. Oak Park is located off U.S. 101. Going north take the Pueblo exit, going south take the Mission exit. For more information call the 24-hour recorded hot line at 564-2525.

Santa Barbara's Museum of Natural History will open its new space lab Saturday, in conjunction with the unveiling of the remodeled and expanded Astronomy Center. The lab will feature computer games and exhibits dealing with constellations, planets and space exploration. It will have images seen through the Hubble Space Telescope, the Keck Telescope, NASA probes and UCSB's remote-controlled telescope on Santa Ynez Peak.

There will also be a walk-through telescope exhibit and a gravity exhibit. The lab will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Labor Day and noon to 4 p.m. the rest of the year.

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