Wukchumni Cultural Education
Partners :Wukchumni Yokuts
Project Location :Quaker Oaks Farm
Since 1984, the Wukchumni have gathered on the land, which was once a large Wukchumni village, to continue practicing and teaching traditions and ceremonies to Wukchumni families. In recent years, the Wukchumni have partnered with QOF, PYM, and many other community organizations to share and teach Wukchumni history, culture, and traditional stewardship practices of the land. Through the continued efforts of the Wukchumni people to keep the traditions, language, and culture alive, they have enriched all aspects of QOF by helping to reconnect our partnership with nature and each other as human beings.
Annual Spring Equinox Gatherings: Wukchumni families gather together to celebrate the New Year and give thanks for new life and growth.
Annual Fall Equinox Gatherings: Wukchumni families gather together to celebrate the Harvest and give thanks for the lives of our family members, and honor our ancestors and loved ones that have gone before us.
Traditional Naming Ceremonies: Wukchumni children are welcomed into the community through a beautiful ceremony led by the Elders.
Coming of Age: Wukchumni Womanhood Ceremonies: Wukchumni Elder women have been carrying on and teaching the traditional ways of the Wukchumni women to the younger generations of Wukchumni girls through a series of talking circles, gathering trips, weaving and sewing circles.
Basketry Garden: The Wukchumni have limited access to many plants needed to make baskets and medicines due to many of the traditional gathering areas being on private property or destroyed. A few basket makers and elders decided to designate a portion of the land to grow many of the local native plants that are needed, while also teaching the youth how to properly tend to the land and harvest respectfully and appropriately.
Musical Instrument Workshops: Over the years, Elders have engaged youth in learning traditional songs and stories by teaching them how to make musical instruments, such as elderberry clapsticks and gourd rattles.
Acorn Processing Workshops: Wukchumni and Dunlap Mono women have held workshops to teach the entire process of making acorn mush. Many youth and adults have learned to crack, clean, and grind the acorns, then sift and leach the powder, and finally cook the mush.
Traditional Games: The Wukchumni utilize traditional games as a way to reinforce cultural teachings and language with the youth. Games such as Stick Game (similar to Lacrosse), Hoop & Spear and Archery (for hunting skills), Hand Games, and Walnut Dice Game have been successful ways to engage the youth in cultural activities and gatherings.