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Cultural heritage (traditional)

The Chumash people have a rich cultural heritage deeply rooted in their connection with wildlife, including whales.

Folktales often involve animal characters with human-like qualities, teaching moral lessons and emphasising the importance of sharing the land and ocean harmoniously.

Art, including cave paintings and intricate basketry, often portrays animals and plants, showcasing their significance in Chumash culture and promoting respect for the natural world.

Song and dance have served as important cultural expressions for the Chumash, celebrating the abundance of the land and sea, and honouring the creatures that inhabit them. Festivals and rituals have also been held to commemorate the seasons and pay homage to the animals that provide sustenance.

Language has played a critical role in preserving Chumash cultural values and knowledge of the natural world. The Chumash language contains words and phrases specific to wildlife, habitats, and ecological relationships. The passing down of this knowledge through language ensures that future generations understand and respect the vital role played by wildlife in the Chumash culture.