Cover, Title Page

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-1

Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 2-5

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 5-7

read more

1. An ancient tradition in today’s South Africa

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 7-27

Many South Africans are unaware that the central image in their country’s coat of arms derives from a San rock painting (Fig. 1). In 1994 South Africa moved out of the dark decades of apartheid and set out on a new democratic path. It was a time of renewal, and new symbols of unity had...

read more

2. Conflicting perspectives and traditions

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 28-48

The initiation, efflorescence and demise of research perspectives are always situated in specific social circumstances. A history of such perspectives should therefore try to identify the social, political and personal forces that created conditions for their acceptance and, in many instances, eventual...

read more

3. Keys to the past

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 49-63

As I have pointed out, the image that appears in the centre of South Africa’s coat of arms (Fig. 1) is merely a small part of the large, crowded Linton panel (Fig. 2). At first glance, we may think that these apparently jumbled images are all independent of one another. But that idea must be abandoned when we notice that...

read more

4. Threads of light

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 64-84

The duplicated and reversed figure that now stands in the centre of the South African coat of arms is in the lower centre of the Linton panel. That position, of course, results from the way the slab was chiselled from the rock face. The whole panel was but part of a much larger panorama of paintings across the wall...

read more

5. The mind in the brain

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 85-103

I begin this chapter with some varied accounts that Kalahari San shamans have given about the ‘threads of light’ they see during a trance dance or in dreams. These personal testimonies give a vivid idea of what San religious experience was, and still is, like. As with all components of San religion...

read more

6. Capturing the rain

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 104-117

In 1874 Wilhelm Bleek wrote: ‘A Bushman painting will frequently help us to unearth a myth, legend, or fable, which otherwise would have been forgotten, and might have remained unrecorded.’ More than that, he found a two-way pattern of illumination and wrote that what he called San ‘mythology’ and copies of their...

read more

7. Making an image

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 118-136

Today it is still unfortunately easy for those who do not know much about San religious beliefs and rituals to revert to Arbousset and Daumas’s view that San rock paintings were simply ‘innocent playthings’. For some, the very phrase ‘Bushman paintings’ is dismissive. Even if modern viewers...

Endnotes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 139-140

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 141-151

Acknowledgements

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 153-154

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 155-157