[book cover]
Contested Images: Diversity in Southern African Rock Art Research, Thomas A. Dowson & David Lewis-Williams, editors
1994, Witwatersrand University Press, paper
437 pages, 20 b/w photos, 78 figures, 31 tables, 18 maps, 6" x 8-3/4"

Rock art, once considered by most to be merely a 'quaint' representation of the life-style and vision of a 'primitive' people, is assuming an ever greater importance in academic debate. Rock art research, believed by some to be the field of the future, may well play a prominent role in the understanding of Southern African history at this time when received colonial perspectives are being rejected.

This volume brings together the work of a number of scholars who have critically examined what has come to be known as the 'trance hypothesis'. Though they reach consensus about the value of the hypothesis, they raise questions about points of detail and the applicability of the hypothesis to all painitngs and engravings. Many of the chapters engage in wider issues that impinge on other disciplines, such as linguistics and folklore studies, demonstrating the relationship between them and rock art.

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Last update: 14 November 1997