Judy Foreman: Respecting Your Elders and Celebrating Age | Homes & Lifestyle

Chumash elder Julie Tumamait-Stenslie, 83-year-old author Beverlye Hyman Fead share a cross-cultural perspective on aging

Chumash elder Julie Tumamait-Stenslie, left, and 83-year-old author Beverlye Hyman Fead provided some unique, anthropological perspectives on aging during a recent presentation before the BOAS Network. (Judy Foreman / Noozhawk photo)

Having grown up in an era when respecting your elders was just something that was expected of me, I was drawn to a recent presentation of the BOAS Network lecture series, Anthropology Straight Up.

The subject was “Celebrating Age: A Cross-Cultural Perspective,” and it turned out to be an inspiring and educational evening at the historic and tradition-rich University Club of Santa Barbara.

Anthropologist Kohanya Groff founded the nonprofit BOAS Network as a way to provide opportunities for education, information and even entertainment for anthropology and those interested in it.

“The Anthropology Straight Up series was my idea to make free education and information accessible about anthropology through public outreach, social media and videos,” said Groff, who has a Ph.D. in cultural anthropology from UC Riverside.

The concept, she added, was to help connect with and invite the public into the world of anthropology.

A previous BOAS Network lecture featured Natalia Reagan, a primatologist and Discovery and NatGeo host. The July lecture explored how two separate cultures embrace age.

The evening’s first speaker was Julie Tumamait-Stenslie, a Chumash elder and chairwoman of the Barbareño/Ventureño Band of Mission Indians. She opened with a prayer before sharing her insights on the Native American perspective on aging and honoring it.

Tumamait-Stenslie spoke of her family history, which dates to 1811 in Meiners Oaks, in the Ojai Valley, and how she has been influenced by the traditions, experience, history and songs of the…

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