Forensic Fashion
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>Costume Studies
>>1772 Chumash wot
Subject: wot chief
Culture: Chumash
Setting: Spanish colonial period, late 18thc
 
 
 
 
 
Context
 
* Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History 1986 p40
"There was no one ruler over all the Chumash people.  Instead, each village had its own chief, or wot (rhymes with 'boat'), who was the leader and moral authority for the village.  Women sometimes served as wots.  The assistant to the wot was known as the paha.  He acted as master of ceremonies at festivals and gatherings.  The ksen were messengers who traveled from place to place, making announcements and gathering news for the wot.  The 'antap was a group of advisors to the wot, and they also performed rituals.  In this group were various kinds of people -- doctors, astrologers, singers and dancers.
"Some parts of Chumash territory were organized into provinces, or groups of villages.  The village wots formed a council which governed the province; one among them was chosen to be the paqwot, or 'big chief' who ruled over the others.  His or her assistant, the paha, conducted the ceremonies for the province."
 
 
Costume (Hair, Robe, Ornaments, Kilt)
 
* Paterek 1994 p249
"Although nudity was prevalent in the warm climate, there was some use of warmer clothing for winter and an abundance of ceremonial attire, displaying considerable social significance."
 
* Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History 1986 p22 (quoting Font 1755 in Bolton 1925)
"The dress of the men is total nakedness.  Some of them have the cartilage of the nose pierced, and all have the ears perforated with two large holes in which they wear litle [SIC] canes like two horns as thick as the little finger ... in which they are accustomed to carry powder made of their wild tobacco.  These Indians are well formed and of good body."