Kommune Kutz for Kidz

Isa gets her hair cut at this commune down the street. Yesterday we went and an older woman with long black braids was there with Stardust, Isa’s ‘hair artist.’ Stardust told Isa that the woman was a Chumash medicine woman. Isa excitedly told her that they had been studying the tribe in Social Studies class at school. The week before, I accompanied the class on a hike in the mountains to an old Chumash site. The teacher showed us a mortar hewn into a boulder used to grind the acorns. The ground was littered with acorns. Isa’s hand shot up.
“Did they make acorn bread?”
“Well,” the teacher answered, “We’re not really sure exactly what they did with the acorns. There’s no record really of how they lived here.”
The aura of mystery about the Chumash that the teacher projected certainly didn’t help Isa get the facts she needed. I have no idea why actual Chumash people were not included in her studies, but here was a tribal member, so Isa asked her, “Do you make acorn bread?”
“Absolutely,” she said with a chuckle.
“The secret is in the leaching. Actually my husband does most of that.”
“Does he use a mortar and pestle?”
The woman laughed. “That’s too much work! He uses a blender now. That’s the great thing about a blender, anyone can make acorn recipes now, even you can do it.”
She promised Isa she’d give her some acorn cakes the next time her husband made them.
I bet the teacher wouldn’t like the story about the blender; he prefers his Chumash naked and running in the canyons, pestles in hand.

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