Display Case 1

Ti’aat Dream Panel 

Tongva educator Cindi Alvitre once dreamt of her ancestors paddling across a lake in wooden canoes – a dream that inspired both the formation of the Ti’at Society and the construction of Moomat Ahiko (“Breath of the Ocean”), the first modern ti’aat (Tongva canoe) built in Southern California. Cindi Alvitre created this art piece from felt and abalone to illustrate her dream.

Loan courtesy of Cindi Alvitre 


Ti’aat Materials 

A traditional ti’aat (Tongva canoe) is built from redwood (1) or local pines. The inside of the ti’aat is coated with a mixture of asphaltum (tar) (shaanat) (2) and pine pitch (3) to make the vessel waterproof. Pine pitch is also mixed with red ochre pigment (oyii) (displayed inside shell) (4) to make a shellac for painting the ti’aat. Abalone (aapo) is used for the decorative inlays (5). 

Loan courtesy of Craig Torres



Model Ti’aat 

Soapstone carving of ti’aat (6) by Chumash carver, Tony Ayala. 

Loan courtesy of Cindi Alvitre