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Chumash Painted Cave

United States of America
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Alaxuluxen, the Chumash name for the Chumash Painted Cave State Historic Park, is situated on the edge of the traditional Barbareño Chumash territory, which ranged from the Pacific coast to the foothills and southern slopes of the Santa Ynez Mountains. With a population of over 15,000 before European contact, the Barbareño Chumash were one of the largest and most influential tribes in California. Today's modern city of Santa Barbara, at the base of the Santa Ynez Mountains, was the capital city of the Barbareño, then called Syukhtun. Although the precise dates of the interior paintings aren't known, ceremonial use of the cave was discontinued in the 1700s with Spanish Contact. However, the connection to the cave has not been lost to the Chumash today. Since the founding of the park in 1976, the cave remains available to this continued legacy of the Chumash people.

In 2015, CyArk partnered with Santa Ynez High School, California State Parks, and Chumash elder Ernestine Ygnacio-De Soto to collect 3D documentation of the cave and surrounding environment to provide a point-in-time reference for conservation, education, and awareness of the Chumash culture and historical ways of life. In 2023, CyArk recieved funding from the California Park Foundation to update created a 3D guided tour with the data and incorproate new interviews with Ernestine Ygnacio-De Soto.

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