Our Favourite African Rock Art Images

Over the past weeks we did an informal staff survey to answer two important questions: What is your favourite African rock art image? and Why?

The choices were from all corners of the continent and the reasons behind them as diverse as TARA staff members. They spanned the gamut from the beauty of the paintings to the cultural connections associated with the images. Staff picks also included well known (and well loved) images as well as a few less so. And what was probably no surprise is that the Dabous giraffes featured twice!

Here’s a sampling of the responses:

Our administrative assistant, Cyprian, said that the fact that the Mfangano Island, Kenya concentric circle paintings were used in rainmaking ceremonies made that image his favourite. Our community projects manager, Josiah, is a lover of wildlife and his favourite image was the well executed eland painting from the Drakensberg, South Africa. For our COO, Terry, the connections to present day traditions of body painting as well as the wealth of questions that the Niola Doa ladies of Chad inspire made his pick. And our intern, Lindsay, chose an image some of us were not too familiar with- bas relief camels from Sudan- saying she loved the mix of abstraction and clarity in the art.

TARA favourite rock art

What became clear after this survey is that there are many reasons to love rock art, just as there are many reasons why rock art paintings and engravings were done. Another important take-away is the same one that guides us in other parts of our mission, that is, that for one to conserve cultural heritage they must have some form of attachment to it, whether economic, cultural, or religious.

What’s your favourite African rock art image?

Read all staff responses and full images in this gallery.

28 Sept 2015