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UNDERSTANDING VARIATION: STYLISTIC ETHNOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF ROCK ART FROM THE MAKGABENG PLATEAU, LIMPOPO PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA

Author(s): Lourenco Pinto

Year: 2015

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Summary

The use of style is in its infancy in southern African rock art studies with work on style originating with broad generalisations which linked modes of subsistence, material culture and lifeways to style. Recent studies have focused on regional art traditions. The author presents a research case study that advocated for the use of style as praxis. Looking at specific depictions of cross-cultural motifs from the Makgabeng plateau, South Africa, this paper explores the intricate spatio-temporal background that foregrounds the art-making process. Much of the interpretation of Makgabeng’s rock art has drawn upon the shamanistic explanation. However, the research in this area has provided an array of cross-cultural motifs shared by many different identities and functions, which cannot be explained by the shamanistic explanation alone. This stylistic approach using embodiment theory aims to acquire deeper insight into the intricacies behind rock art variation and the choices taken during the image-making process within Khoekhoe and Bushmen rock art traditions. The concern with choices in the production of art provides important information regarding identity, function, and social context of a particular art object. This coupled with relevant ethnographic analogies could further explain spatial and temporal variation amongst past and present peoples.

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UNDERSTANDING VARIATION: STYLISTIC ETHNOGRAPHIC ANALYSIS OF ROCK ART FROM THE MAKGABENG PLATEAU, LIMPOPO PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA. Lourenco Pinto. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397471)


Keywords

Geographic Keywords
AFRICA


Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America