September 27, 2014 —
Dennis Garcia gives a presentation on Chumash traditions at the Hart of the West Powwow at William S. Hart Park in Newhall.
Dennis Garcia is a Native American educator of Tataviam, Chumash, Tongva and Vanyume ancestry who teaches about traditional lifeways through music and presentations.
Dennis sings songs and tells Chumash stories as part of his presentation, which includes a display of his regalia (including necklaces); rattles, dance sticks and clapper sticks; and soapstone (steatite) carvings made by his elder brother, Chief Ted A. Garcia Dennis wears distinctive red face paint, explaining that the mask was traditionally for protection.
Dennis gives his presentation throughout the greater Los Angeles area at schools, at the Autry National Center, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center in Newbury Park, Tongva Park in Santa Monica, and at the Hart of the West Powwow in Newhall. He also frequently participates in Native American dances.
Dennis' father, Ted C. Garcia, and grandmother, Chief Mary Cooke Garcia, lived in Newhall and are direct descendants of individuals who lived at Chaguayabit village (now Castaic Junction) prior to European contact in 1769.