ISBN 978 90 361 0245 2
Eiland Women at the Kalahari Edge
The Upington area north of the Orange/Gariep River contains unique examples of South African rock art at a site called Biesje Poort. Rock engravings and oral narratives form part of the nation’s tangible and intangible heritage.
The tangible rock art at Biesje Poort is made up of various rock engraving styles. The intangible heritage comprises oral narratives about a Water Snake told by a group of women from various cultural backgrounds. Indigenous and academic perspectives offer different analyses of rock engravings and the stories they convey.This book explores both theories on ethno-archaeology and the experiences of the storytellers themselves in order to reach a deeper understanding of the rock engravings at Biesje Poort. A dialogical approach is part of the participatory nature of this book.
As well as a more holistic appreciation of South Africa’s rock art heritage that includes a multiple intelligence approach, this research explores the ownership and representation of heritage research, emphasising participatory research and museum practices that maintain an empowering partnership with the research informants.
Mary Lange (MA), coordinates the ARROW SA (Art: A Resource for Reconciliation Over the World) Project which is spearheaded by the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre at The College of St Mark & St John, Plymouth, UK. Her research interests include oral narratives, visual anthropology, and theatre in development. Lange is research advisor on DCC and CFPD projects. ARROW is a CCMS research affiliate. Lange is multi-talented, a Culture and Heritage programme facilitator who does drama, a visual anthropologist who educates students in the field. She is currently directing a rock art project in the Northern Cape.