/QE - THE POWER OF ROCK ART
This exhibition presents
a visual experience of the richly detailed knowledge and beliefs about
the spirit world, rain-making and healing that inspired the paintings
and engravings. The story is told from the perspective of the San
people whose ancestors created most of the art.
The word ‘/Qe’ describes the power associated with God and the
supernatural in N/u, a San language of the Northern Cape spoken by
fewer than 20 people today. It was suggested for this exhibition by /Una
/Khasi-Rooi, her sister Antje /Khasi and other members of the N/u
community. Most of the quotations that illuminate the meaning of the
rock art in the exhibition are in /Xam, a San language closely related
to N/u but no longer spoken.
Rock art is found in many parts of Africa. The majority of rock
paintings and engravings found in southern Africa can be clearly
linked to San beliefs. Also, in this region, within the last 2000
years, engravings and finger-paintings were made by Khoekhoe herders
and African farmers.