In pursuit of baboons

The writer has submitted this illustration, which he says is a copy of a San rock painting he came across in the Drakensberg.

Brian Agar, Constantia

The occurrence in upper Constantia and Tokai of baboon troops has reminded me of a piece of rock art I saw depicting interactions between these particular animals and the Stone-Age inhabitants of southern Africa.

I came across the rock-art painting by a San artist, in the KwaZulu Natal Drakensberg mountains, many years ago. It was black monochrome on the wall of a sandstone shelter, and it told its own entertaining story!

The painting had deteriorated somewhat. What I append to this letter is an accurate but embellished copy that I have painted.

It is part of a series of reproductions designed to preserve the memory of San art, in particular, some beautiful shaded polychromes found in a remote area.

It seems that the artwork portrays, among other things, anger and possibly a grain of humour, which makes it unique in Stone-Age art anywhere.