Mar 072013
 
Hutash — Chumash sunstick
 
Part 4: The Chumash Winter Solstice Ceremony
 
After the season of Hutash (autumn), the Chumash people became more and more fearful as the winter solsctice approached (around December 20th each year).  Guided by their astronomer/priest, the Alchuklash, and his twelve helpers, everyone participated in preparing for the winter solstice ceremony.  All the powers of the individual and the supernatural powers of the priests would be required to stop Sun from his journey south and turn him back to them.   Over many years of observing, they knew that the sun would rise and set at the same spot for two days before starting its progression back north.  So the winster solstice ceremony lasted for two days.
On the first day of winter solstice, the Antap (the Alchuklash and assistants of the various Chumash villages), prepared for the ceremony by digging a hole in the plaza where they would place a Hutash (sunstick, refer to Part 3) the next day.
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