Chumash Rock Art


In the remote regions of the Los Padres National Forest, thousand year old art galleries hide in sandstone caves and overhangs. The rock art ranges from simple geometric designs--lines, circles, cross-hatching-- to elaborate, sometimes bizzare anthropomorphic creatures. Archaeologists think shamans created the paintings for ceremonial purposes, to represent supernatural beings or forces. Many of the paintings clearly represent animals and events that the Chumash encountered in their everyday lives. We find pictures of snakes, bear tracks, birds, frogs, insects and geometric shapes that are thought to represent rain, and astronomic events. And some of the pictures clearly come from deep within the minds of the painters.

I have enclosed some rock art samples. The files are big, but are worth the look.

Sample 1,sample 2, or sample 3.>

For an overview of the Chumash culture, click here. For information about protecting this priceless art, or to volunteer to monitor rock art sites, click here.

An Internet link to other rock art web pages can be found here.