Chumash Tribe unveils new sculptures as part of casino expansion

The "Traditions" sculpture at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California, depicts a tribal elder demonstrates a basketweaving technique. Photo by Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians in California has been welcoming visitors to its newly expanded casino.

The tribe spent $160 million to add 75,000 square-feet the gaming floor at the Chumash Casino Resort. There's also a new hotel tower with 215 rooms, a 20,000 square-foot pool deck, new food and beverage venues and a parking garage with 584 spaces.

The tribe hosted a soft opening for the project on May 20. Additional amenities are being debuted throughout the month of June.

As part of the opening, the tribe installed six bronze sculptures that depict various aspects of Chumash culture. They were created by nature and wildlife artist Dan Chen and are located at the casino's entryway.

The "Generations" sculpture at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez, California, shows a young mother caring for her child in a tule cradleboard before preparing acorn. Photo by Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians

“The story of our tribe is one of perseverance, survival and adaptability,” Chairman Kenneth Kahn said in a press release. “We wanted to see our story captured in sculptures, and I believe Dan Chen has done that beautifully.”

The sculptures are named "Heritage," "Tradition," "Generations," "Provision," "Celebration," and "Flames of Victory," the largest piece.

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Bronze sculptures at casino depict life of Chumash ancestors (The Lompoc Record 6/6)

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