Condor Cave Reference On Redwood Log, Disney California Adventure Park

Chumash pictograph, Santa Barbara County

“Native people drew spiral pictographs—sets of concentric rings radiating out from a center—on cave walls and rock shelters in locations where they are illuminated by the rising sun on the winter solstice. Solstice ceremonies, such as those practiced among the Chumash, acknowledged the seasonal change of the sun, which in turn affected the availability of plants and animals for food and other needs.”

—M. Kat Anderson, Tending the Wild: Native American Knowledge and the Management of California’s Natural Resources

Ancient redwood log at Disney’s California Adventure.

A cross section of an ancient redwood tree that sprouted in 818 AD and died in 1937 is displayed at Disney California Adventure theme park in southern California.

Thirty small placards point to tree rings and note different events in California history during the tree’s lifespan.

The second oldest year labeled on the log after the tree’s sproutdate notes a sacred Chumash Native American place in the Los Padres National Forest in Santa Barbara County.

The prehistoric site, an abri in a sandstone outcrop in remote mountainous terrain, has been associated with the sun on the morning of winter solstice in a similar manner as mentioned above in the Anderson quote.

A small hole in the wall of the rock shelter is believed to have perhaps functioned as an aperture to allow in sunlight on the morning of the solstice as a means of signifying seasonal change during ritual observances.

The shelter is decorated with various petroglyphs and pictographs including what is said to be a condor in dramatic flight rendered in white from which the site takes its name. The condor was painted or drawn over a bear paw petroglyph.

One of the pictographs within the rock shelter shows what some scholars believe represents a sun priest in prayer raising arms to surround a sun.

On the way to this place, stands The Sign.

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4 Responses to Condor Cave Reference On Redwood Log, Disney California Adventure Park

  1. Frank Hudson says:

    Looks like the spiral at Bear Paw Cave

  2. Anonymous says:

    Looks like someone at Disney was going through Campbell Grants old notes

  3. Greg says:

    Hello Jack, I finally figured out where Condor Cave is and visited it. A fantastic spot, a place one would want to hang out even if there weren’t pictographs. Getting there isn’t so bad, except when I arrived I had to strip naked to remove all the ticks from my clothing. Fortunately there was nobody else there to witness the sacrilege. Anyway, any idea where the year 900 comes from? I’m reading through the background literature on the site and haven’t found a dating reference anywhere. I’m kicking myself now because somehow I failed to see the figure of the sun priest. I also didn’t pick up that apparently the hole is man-made, I just assumed it was natural (are there tool marks?).

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