Long before the white man pushed west, the area was inhabited by
the Gabrielinos, members of the Tongva Nation.
In celebration of that heritage, Stough Canyon Nature Center
hosted a daylong event Sunday featuring native foods, music and
Adults and children of the Tongva Nation Dancers, in full
ceremonial garb, performed a series of dances, including one in honor
of women as procreators.
Dana Bleitz, a part-time recreation leader at the center, said
that a ceremony using white sage was performed to bless the nature
"It has a wonderful, aromatic scent," Bleitz said. "Sweet, clean
Storyteller Cecilia Garcia told tales from the Chumash and
Gabrielino tribes. Children were taught how to make arrowheads, and
how to grind pigment to make paint.
Fried bread was served, along with muffins with honey from bees
housed in the Verdugo Mountains and jam from local plants.