Water symbolism on painted stones, southern Cape, South Africa.

  • Author: David Pearce
  • Topic: Ethno-archaeology,Rock art studies
  • Country: South Africa
  • Related Congress: 13th Congress, Dakar

This paper discusses paintings of a whale and dolphins on two painted stones excavated from hunter-gatherer contexts along the southern coast of South Africa. It describes the imagery before drawing analogies with San ethnographies to suggest some of the symbolisms of the paintings. It suggests that dolphins and a whale were chosen not only because of their association with water, but because they were considered as taxonomically anomalous species.

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