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Nqabayo’s Nomansland: San Rock Art and the Somatic Past
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Arts, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, African and Comparative Archaeology.
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The most significant challenge facing modern southern African rock art research is the integration of rock paint­ings into the construction of San history. This challenge is made all the more difficult because of poor chronologi­cal control over the images. In the absence of reliable dating techniques, the challenge to interdigitate image and history becomes a profoundly theoretical one. Drawing on theoretical studies of body and embodiment, this work takes up the challenge of incorporating rock paintings into the production of the past.

Primarily concerned with a small area, previously known as Nomansland, in the south-eastern mountains of South Africa, the work uses embodiment as a tool for extending present interpretations of the art before moving on to arguing that a focus on body allows us to detect change in certain images in Nomansland. Finally, embodiment is used to re-evaluate present understandings of the social consumption of the paintings.

In using embodiment to investigate issues of meaning, change and the production and consumption of San rock art, it becomes clear that this theoretical concept offers a way of incorporating rock paintings into the writing of San history in Nomansland. This work, then, contributes to the broader field of southern African San historiog­raphy, where the question of San interaction with other peoples is sometimes treated too simply and in a manner that is not consistent with broader postcolonial writing.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Afrikansk och jämförande arkeologi , 2004. , 204 p.
Studies in Global Archaeology, ISSN 1651-1255 ; 2
Keyword [en]
Archaeology, San, Bushman, southern Africa, Nomansland, Eastern Cape, Storm Shelter, rock art, shamanism, Kalahari revisionist debate, body, embodiment, somatic past, postcolonial, colonial
Keyword [sv]
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4549ISBN: 91-973212-0-6OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-4549DiVA: diva2:165090
Public defence
2004-09-10, Ihresalen, Engelska parken, Thunbergsv 3, Uppsala, 10:00
Available from: 2004-09-01 Created: 2004-09-01Bibliographically approved

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