Rock Art in Africa: Mythology and Legend
Le Quellec, Jean-Loïc (text), and Paul Bahn (translation)
Published by (Paris: Editions Flammarion, 2004) 2080304445 (2004)
ISBN 10: 2080304445 ISBN 13: 9782080304445
About this Item: (Paris: Editions Flammarion, 2004) 2080304445, 2004. 4to; original black boards, lettered in blind on spine and upper board; laminated pictorial dustwrapper a little sunned and one corner beginning to peel on back near barcode; pp. 212; lavishly illustrated with full-colour photographs of the sites and the rock paintings and carvings, also with some diagrams in text.
A visually stunning book. "Travellers to Africa who discover its rock paintings and engravings are fascinated by their asthetic appeal, and never fail to wonder about their meaning. Rock Art in Africa: Mythology and Legend provides a panorama of the great parietal assemblages of the whole continent, which the author divides into four major geographical zones: The Sahara, the inter-tropical zone of central Africa, Azania, and southern Africa. They are characterised by a variety of stylistic choices, ranging from accentuated realism to an almost abstract symbolism. The photographs, tracings, and drawings that illustrate Rock Art in Africa bear witness to the originality of the art. The author places the works in the context of their discovery by the great explorers, and then deciphers their hidden meanings, discarding erroneous traditional readings that have often been too easily adopted, and proposing new interpretations. He evokes tales and legends, which make it possible to achieve a partial elucidation of these prehistoric images and to reconstruct the mythology of the remote, or not so remote, past; he also analyses the myths that these works of art in their turn have aroused within Western culture."