Women in the San rock paintings of the southern Drakensberg and adjacent areas
Dawn Green
Tue, 13/07/2021 - 18:30 to 19:30
Western Cape

Women in the San rock paintings of the southern Drakensberg and adjacent areas

By: Dawn Green

YouTube Live Event Link: https://youtu.be/M10k27kGjMg

Department of Anthropology & Archaeology, University of South Africa

P O Box 392

Pretoria 0003, South Africa





Research that focuses on paintings of women, or sites where women are painted is rare and may reflect the androcentric bias of San rock art archaeology previously exposed by Judith Stevenson (2000). My feminist research is part of a larger gender project in which I recorded San rock paintings, using a quantitative and qualitative method, from a random selection of sites in the southern Drakensberg (Area 1) and lower lying adjacent areas (Area 2). I present the problems of identifying paintings of women and the importance of being explicit about these difficulties so that women are not disappeared. I show the contexts of how women are painted and with female animals, their significance for a more complete understanding of the paintings. Gender in people and sex in animals have important implications for learning more about the identity and personhood of San painting in the Drakensberg range and further afield.

Link to Dawn Green's paper in the December 2020 issue of The Digging Stick


Dawn Green lives and works in the Drakensberg of the northern Eastern Cape. She was identified as the top performer in the category for Best Research Masters and recipient of the UNISA Council Graduate Excellence Award in the College of Human Sciences for 2019. She is currently studying for her PhD with the University of Cape Town. She is investigating notions of identity and identity marking in three areas of the Drakensberg and adjacent areas to understand more about San notions of personhood, belonging and social conditioning. Dawn is committed to decolonization and is actively involved in heritage education and development projects in her local communities.

Link to the YouTube Live Event: https://youtu.be/M10k27kGjMg