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Capturing the Spoor: An Exploration of the Rock Art of the Northernmost South Africa
by:Ed Eastwood, Cathelijne Eastwood
Capturing the Spoor describes and discusses the virtually unknown rock art of the northernmost reaches of South Africa, in the area of the Central Limpopo Basin. The title of the book comes from the belief held by some traditional Bantu-speakers that the San can capture animal spoor and bewitch it in order to ensure hunting success. The authors use this...
Capturing the Spoor describes and discusses the virtually unknown rock art of the northernmost reaches of South Africa, in the area of the Central Limpopo Basin. The title of the book comes from the belief held by some traditional Bantu-speakers that the San can capture animal spoor and bewitch it in order to ensure hunting success. The authors use this as an analogy for understanding the behavior of people in the past through the traces they leave behind. This book describes the work of four distinct cultural groups: the San; Khoekhoen (Khoikhoin or Hottentots ), Venda and Northern Sotho, and, most recently, people of European descent. Further, it discusses the interaction and connection between the four groups. It is the first substantial body of work from South Africa to focus on an area outside the Drakensberg, which has become synonymous with southern African rock art . Although the book focuses on a specific region, it introduces anthropological information from the Cape to the greater Kalahari region. The text is interspersed with first-hand accounts of Kalahari and Okavango San beliefs and rites and discussions with traditional Bantu-speaking peoples. A distillation of 14 years of field surveying and research in the Central Limpopo Basin, it targets the general reader who would like to know more about southern Africa s rock art traditions, but at the same time addresses many academic concerns. A simple narrative line and copious endnotes, respectively, ensure that both lay and academic readers will find the subject interesting. The text is abundantly illustrated with line drawings and expressed through photographs. A list of rock art sites in Limpopo that are open to the public will be included. This is a rare publication where information that is collected is analyzed with the help of knowledge and experience accumulated by the local indigenous communities, whose have been seldom heard in this context before.
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