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Author Topic: In Search of Bushmen art  (Read 289 times)

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Offline Robin Brown

In Search of Bushmen art
« on: November 16, 2011, 03:38:36 pm »
In Search of Bushmen art
 

HIDDEN in caves in the Southern Cederberg mountains is a Pandoras box of Bushmen art reputed to reflect back in many instances as much as 6 000 years.
And like metal drawn to a magnet Stephen a long time mountaineering friend and I set off from Cederberg Oasis early one Saturday morning with one object in mind.
To find some interesting Bushman art.
Firstly we had to tackle the lung bursting 300m ascent up along a fence line to the nek leading onto Rooiberg Mountain.
Slogging our way up with packs heavier than normal, as we had prepared for incelement weather forecast by the weather bureau, we could not resist the photographic opportunities as the birds eye views stretched out below us.
At last 40 minutes after leaving the lodge and with the video camera rolling we broke through the nek and took a breather, slaked our thirst and took a compass bearing.
Soon we loaded up the packs and struck off in a northerly direction heading for the deep gorge through which the Matjies River flows and our overnight cave.
Meanwhile the weather was holding with just the first signs of cotton wool clouds headed in from the West Coast.
Rugged and undulating terrain synonymous with the Cederberg stretched out before us while in the distance the distinctive Tafelberg stood head and shoulders above the other peaks.
Then the last kilometre down into the kloof is an ankle snapping steep descent with the river looking like a large blue snake winding its way through the mountains.
At last we reached the river and the Visgat cave our home for the next two nights.
Unpacked and lunch digesting we headed off down river to investigate.
Twenty minutes into our walk and a short climb up to a likely looking overhang and cave we struck pay dirt.
A beautiful painting of four ostrich.
Stephen was over the moon and photographed them from every angle.
Then a matter of metres further down a painting of people the bushmen must have encountered as they depicted much larger people than the average bushman.
And a little further on a painting of a shaman, a bushmen person who would often go into a trance in order to heal people.
As it was getting on in the afternoon we headed back to the cave, sorted out our sleeping arrangements and prepared supper.
Against the burbling sound of water rushing across the rocks we relaxed and took in the beauty of the Cederberg especially known for its sunsets as the surrounding mountains take on a red hue.
Night fell and at about 9pm the moon rose over the mountains. We were two days past full moon and it was bright enough to practically be able to read a book.
However, the morning proved the weather bureau correct. Dark clouds headed in from the north west and along came the rain.
Fortunately the cave faces east and we spent the morning dry and discussing practically every subject in the book from the arts to politics and world history.
About mid afternoon the weather started to break up as the wind moved around from the north west to the south west and we again managed to get in another exploratory walk, this time up river.
But as fate will have it again the rain came.
Back in the cave it was supper again and as the light faded time to again jump into a warm sleeping bag and dream the night away.
Monday morning dawned bright and beautiful and thanks to the previous days rain the countryside and the sky was crystal clear. An ideal day for scenic photographs.
As there was no reason to hang around we climbed out the kloof headed across to Rooiberg and back down to Oasis in three hours.
  Link to Video

http://youtu.be/8hNTnpL1O_c