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Nature volume 127, pages 419421 (14 March 1931) | Download Citation



Bushman Paintings in Eastern Cape Province.—Mr. John Hewitt and Father P. Stapleton, S.J., in vol. 4 of the Records of the Albany Museum, Grahamstown, South Africa, describe paintings and artefacts discovered in rock-shelters near Cala. Rock paintings in this area are very numerous, but have never been described in detail. The locality of the present investigation is Tembuland, which is east of the Drakensberg and south of the Stormberg. At Rebels' Kloof a great number of implements were found and the rocks were covered with paintings, some of fine technique but in poor preservation. In one case there were some very remarkable human figures with attenuated limbs in white. Other paintings of apparently the same age showed carnivores, elands, etc. Another series of human and animal figures was entirely in black, including a well-drawn black elephant. A rock shelter on the other side of the river contained a fine series covering nine or ten yards, with excellent decorative effect. The biggest figure is an eland in dark red and white. Yellow and white paintings here seem to be the most recent. Two human figures in chocolate, and faint, may be older. Not far distant was a hunting group in white. The hunter is approaching a herd of reboks, mostly at rest, with a ’gargantuan stride‘ . High up on the krantz, and inaccessible, near beautiful elands, were two human figures, remarkable for the fact that they wear skin capes reaching to the knees, giving the figures quite a European appearance. The faces are white, broadly bordered with chocolate bands, which is also the colour of the legs. As regards tho artefacts, the major stone industry belongs to a group included in the Smithlield cultures. The pottery of Rebels' Kloof shows two distinct industries.

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