Proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary

Chumash Sacred Sites

The Sanctuary will protect now submerged Chumash Sacred sites ranging from villages to solstice alignments 6 to 13 miles offshore. Chumash records suggest occupation of the central coast area for 20,000 years with two recorded dates of:

18,000 years at Point Conception, an extremely important Chumash Sacred Place

14,500 years on the Channel Islands

North of Point Conception, Jalama is a Sacred Chumash village site. Other significant Chumash sites associated with the ocean ecology are found along the adjacent coastal terrain north to Point Sal including two 10,000 year-old sites within Vandenberg AFB.
The late Northern Chumash Tribal Council Chair Fred Collins at Lisamu’ (Morro Rock). Photo by Joe Johnston, SLO Tribune

Onshore San Luis Bay there are four major Chumash Sacred sites – three known to have been occupied for 9,000 years:

In Los Osos.
The site where the Chumash people return to renew the Traditional Ritual Ceremony Cycle.
The old Chumash Capital in the area of Avila Beach, now partially covered by sea level rise.
The Chumash Sacred site at Diablo Cove along the coastline of the Pecho Coast

Continuing north are the Chumash Village Sacred sites:

In Los Osos
Hundreds of Chumash Sacred sites ringing Morro Bay
The Chumash village Sacred site of Cayucos (continuously occupied for 8,000 years)
Large sites found in the area to a mile north of Pt. Estero
Two Chumash village Sacred sites in Cambria (continuously occupied for 10,000 years)
Copyright © 2021 · Chumash National Marine Sanctuary
All photos, unless otherwise specified, are available by public domain courtesy of NOAA ONMS  Website by Sophie Marsh Design Co.
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