Rock art shelter
Rock art shelter

Rock art, has to do with the medicine man (Shaman,) in a state of trance, forming a link between the natural and the supernatural. The paintings are used as a medium of communication with the spirit world, especially for rituals such as rainmaking and healing/cleansing. It is has been suggested that the shamans who were the artists , would paint the images they saw, after emerging from their trance state. Painted sites are storehouses of the potency that made contact with the spiritual world possible (Lewis-Williams, D. 1981).

Colours were obtained from roots, plants, ochre in rocks and set using egg white from birds eggs.  Eland are a central symbol.

Rock art sites in the Dundee/Rorkes Drift area are considerably older than the sites in the Drakensberg mountains. Nearly all sites are on private property and access is restricted. Arrangements can be made with specialist guides to take you to selected sites.

One of the original paintings from a frieze along the Buffalo river at Tayside was removed in 1947 and is now preserved at Talana Museum. The rest of the freize has disappeared over time with the regular flooding of the river having washed away the paintings.

Contact Talana Museum or Dundee Tourism for contacts for specialist guides.