Glimpse into the Mythology of the Maluti Bushmen

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In 1873, J.M. Orpen obtained the services of a San guide named Qing. As they travelled through the Maluti mountains, Orpen copied rock paintings and Qing explained what they meant. This unique record has been basic to the reinterpretations of rock art first put forward by Patricia Vinnicombe in People of the eland (1976) and David Lewis-Williams, Believing and seeing (1981).

Since not everybody has easy access to the Cape Monthly Magazine, July 1874,  Cory Library has pleasure in making this valuable source generally available as the first feature of our new Primary Sources facility.

Maluti Bushmen (673KB)

Pic: Joseph Orpen's rendering of the therianthrope panel at Melikane, Lesotho

From: The eland's people: new perspectives in the rock art of the Maloti-Drakensberg Bushmen: essays in memory of Patricia Vinnicombe / edited by Peter Mitchell and Benjamin Smith. Johannesburg: Wits University Press, 2009, p. 46