Website Category: Rock-art and Pre-history
Area: 2,336 km2
Criteria: (iii) cultural tradition (vi) association with belief system
Location and Values: The Kondoa Rock-Art Sites are located across a wide area of the Maasai Steppe in central Tanzania, about half way between Arusha and Dodoma. There are 150-200 individual sites, mostly little more than rock overhangs where paintings are protected from the direct effects of weathering from sun, wind and rain. The paintings vary greatly in style, size and colour, reflecting the changing nature of the peoples inhabiting the area over the millenia (from hunter-gatherer to agro-pastoralist) and their livelihood and belief systems. Some of the shelters are still considered to have ritual associations with the people who live nearby.
Slideshow of the Kondoa Rock-Art Sites: The slideshow features a collection of stunning photos provided by David Coulson at the Trust for African Rock Art, the premier organisation working for the conservation of this extraordinary heritage. It shows the landscape and the type of shelters and rock overhangs where rock-art is found at Kondoa. There are two distinctly different styles of painting featured in the photos, starting with the more recent white (kaolin-based) art with its highly stylised anthropomorphs and designs involving concentric circles and other symbols. The older works, in red ochre, are more refined depicting a wide variety of animals and people, often with large heads or hairstyles and engaged in a range of activities. One exceptional painting dubbed ‘The Abduction’ shows a female figure flanked by two pairs of male figures. The men on the right are wearing animal masks and attempting to drag her off, while those on the left are trying to hold her back.
Slideshow of the Kondoa Rock-Art Sites:
Google Earth View: To view satellite imagery of the Kondoa rock-art area on Google Earth, click here. This opens a new window, so when you are finished, just close the Google Earth page and you will be straight back here to continue browsing.