Chumash Rock Art, Santa Barbara County

chumash-pictograph-rock-art-santa-barbara-californiaThese Chumash paintings show little wear from the elements over the last several decades.

They are presented here without alteration, but for a slight intensification of the existing natural color.

They measure roughly about twelve inches in length.


The pictographs are located near the top of a canyon on an outcrop amid rolling hills of chaparral and a short walk from a miniature gorge.

Here in the serpentine meander, deeply carved through the sandstone bedrock by the seasonal flow of water, several pools hold for remarkably long periods of time, even through years of drought when the surrounding region atop the mountain is mostly dry.

Looking over the land it is not hard to see its attraction to those that came before and why it was a choice location to paint.

There are a number of other pictographs adjacent the panel featured in the first photo, including some found in the alcove shown above which also contains incised markings on the floor.


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6 Responses to Chumash Rock Art, Santa Barbara County

  1. Lila Henry says:

    Thanks! Always love to see the pictographs from the Ancestors.

  2. says:

    Thanks so much for this blog, Jack. BTW: I live over the other side of Old Man Mountain from S.B. There are a few acorn grinding hole sites in the close area. They are interesting. Another very interesting but out of situ birthing rock at the Ojai Valley Museum. It is shaped like a mini Carrizo Plain Painted Rock and rife with cupules. Let me know if you’re interested in coming over some time, I’d like to know your thoughts about this area.

    • Jack Elliott says:

      Thanks, Ted. I haven’t been to the Ojai museum in a long time. I’ll have to go back sometime; I don’t recall seeing that stone you mention. Thanks for the invite. I always enjoy seeing and discussing these things. Maybe sometime I venture down to your neck of the woods for a chat.

  3. Greg says:

    I love that frog/salamander/humanoid figure, and all the variations on it. At first I thought the cave was ********. I guess that’s a testament to the similarity of these caves, and the processes that created them (and the Chumash in selecting them). P.S. Just ran across this educational film on Chumash rock art:

    • Jack Elliott says:

      Hey Greg. Regarding your comment about similarity, this site is not far from the cave you mentioned. I edited the name you noted because I thought it was too revealing, as it could be quickly Googled and its location found.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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