Dark Water

Dark Water, a documentary about a traditional Chumash ceremony, launches a series of lessons about this tribal nation that inhabited the Channel Islands. The focus of the film is on the recreation of the Tomol Crossing Ceremony where family members build a tomol, or canoe, and paddle across the Santa Barbara Channel from mainland California to Santa Cruz island.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have groups construct miniature tomols and test their seaworthiness in a tank or the school pool
Classroom Considerations

  • The video is first in a series of four resources that examine the involvement of the Chumash in the history of the Channel islands
Pros

  • Materials include a summary of the story and discussion questions
Cons

  • None