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Rock Art

The San people of Africa roamed the area for thousands of years until 100 years ago.
The /Xam tribe, the nomadic hunter-gatherers living in harmony with nature realised then that man and nature together is sustainable.

There are 7 recorded sites throughout Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, however many more can be found.  Rock art sites date back to more than 3500 years and depict the spiritual beliefs and lives of these fascinating people. During their travels, members of the group would congregate around a communal fire, weaving stories and celebrating the gift of life while the Shaman would meditate through rhythmic dancing, singing and clapping and while in a trance, receive visions and guidance. This medicine man or woman would ensure the well being of the tribe, protecting them from evil and sickness, predicting the future and ensuring good hunting and rains. Certain animals such as the Praying Mantis and the Eland were honoured and revered and were considered to have great spiritual powers.

These experiences of the Shaman were depicted to the tribe in the form of the rock art seen today. The various sites that were chosen were also very symbolic, the rock depicting the medium between the different realms the Shaman had travelled in his trancelike state. Ingredients used for the paint consisted of animal blood, urine, plant sap, egg and water, the protein from blood or egg having the ability to preserve the art that exists today.

The only evidence that remains of these little people is the delicate rock art found on Sanbona Wildlife Reserve, their indelible footprints left of their presence in this vast landscape for generations to come.





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