Worlds within stone: the inner and outer rock-art landscapes of northern Australia and southern Africa

Paul S.C. Tacon, Sven Ouzman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

Abstract

The hunter-gatherer rock-arts of northern Australia and southern Africa have much in common: an abundance of engraved and painted rock-art which occurs at topographically comparable locales. Though northern Australian and southern African hunter-gatherers had no contact, their world-understandings have tended to find expression in similar ways – ways which often involve rock-art imagery. In the case of northern Australia and southern Africa, rock-art points the way, often literally, to multiple landscapes that co-exist but which do not seem to have been equally accessible to all hunter-gatherers.
In both regions the notion is pervasive that inner worlds of extra-ordinary experience simultaneously and immanently exist alongside and intertwined with the outer world of ‘ordinary’ existence. Rock-art sites represent places where these worlds connected. As important as the rock-art imagery in this respect is the rock itself; by no means a neutral support for imagery, it was and it is an active, a living and sometimes a dangerous entity. Ethnography, rock-art imagery and a consideration of rock and place, taken together, allow exploration of the nature of landscape perception and use among the hunter-gatherers of northern Australia and southern Africa.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe figured landscapes of rock-art
Subtitle of host publicationLooking at pictures in place
EditorsChristopher Chippindale, George Nash
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Ppress
Pages39-68
Number of pages29
ISBN (Print)0521524245
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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Southern Africa
art
ethnography
contact
experience

Cite this

Tacon, P. S. C., & Ouzman, S. (2004). Worlds within stone: the inner and outer rock-art landscapes of northern Australia and southern Africa. In C. Chippindale, & G. N. (Eds.), The figured landscapes of rock-art: Looking at pictures in place (pp. 39-68). Cambridge: Cambridge University Ppress.
Tacon, Paul S.C. ; Ouzman, Sven. / Worlds within stone : the inner and outer rock-art landscapes of northern Australia and southern Africa. The figured landscapes of rock-art: Looking at pictures in place. editor / Christopher Chippindale ; George Nash. Cambridge : Cambridge University Ppress, 2004. pp. 39-68
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abstract = "The hunter-gatherer rock-arts of northern Australia and southern Africa have much in common: an abundance of engraved and painted rock-art which occurs at topographically comparable locales. Though northern Australian and southern African hunter-gatherers had no contact, their world-understandings have tended to find expression in similar ways – ways which often involve rock-art imagery. In the case of northern Australia and southern Africa, rock-art points the way, often literally, to multiple landscapes that co-exist but which do not seem to have been equally accessible to all hunter-gatherers.In both regions the notion is pervasive that inner worlds of extra-ordinary experience simultaneously and immanently exist alongside and intertwined with the outer world of ‘ordinary’ existence. Rock-art sites represent places where these worlds connected. As important as the rock-art imagery in this respect is the rock itself; by no means a neutral support for imagery, it was and it is an active, a living and sometimes a dangerous entity. Ethnography, rock-art imagery and a consideration of rock and place, taken together, allow exploration of the nature of landscape perception and use among the hunter-gatherers of northern Australia and southern Africa.",
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Tacon, PSC & Ouzman, S 2004, Worlds within stone: the inner and outer rock-art landscapes of northern Australia and southern Africa. in C Chippindale & GN (eds), The figured landscapes of rock-art: Looking at pictures in place. Cambridge University Ppress, Cambridge, pp. 39-68.

Worlds within stone : the inner and outer rock-art landscapes of northern Australia and southern Africa. / Tacon, Paul S.C.; Ouzman, Sven.

The figured landscapes of rock-art: Looking at pictures in place. ed. / Christopher Chippindale; George Nash. Cambridge : Cambridge University Ppress, 2004. p. 39-68.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperChapter

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N2 - The hunter-gatherer rock-arts of northern Australia and southern Africa have much in common: an abundance of engraved and painted rock-art which occurs at topographically comparable locales. Though northern Australian and southern African hunter-gatherers had no contact, their world-understandings have tended to find expression in similar ways – ways which often involve rock-art imagery. In the case of northern Australia and southern Africa, rock-art points the way, often literally, to multiple landscapes that co-exist but which do not seem to have been equally accessible to all hunter-gatherers.In both regions the notion is pervasive that inner worlds of extra-ordinary experience simultaneously and immanently exist alongside and intertwined with the outer world of ‘ordinary’ existence. Rock-art sites represent places where these worlds connected. As important as the rock-art imagery in this respect is the rock itself; by no means a neutral support for imagery, it was and it is an active, a living and sometimes a dangerous entity. Ethnography, rock-art imagery and a consideration of rock and place, taken together, allow exploration of the nature of landscape perception and use among the hunter-gatherers of northern Australia and southern Africa.

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Tacon PSC, Ouzman S. Worlds within stone: the inner and outer rock-art landscapes of northern Australia and southern Africa. In Chippindale C, GN, editors, The figured landscapes of rock-art: Looking at pictures in place. Cambridge: Cambridge University Ppress. 2004. p. 39-68