MARTÍN-CANO, F. (2001): PREHISTORIA DE ÁFRICA: Manifestaciones artísticas. Artículo en Portal de Antropología, Historia, Rock Art: Sahara News Papers PREHISTORY OF AFRICA: MANIFESTATIONS ARTISTIC.

Prehistory Of Africa: Manifestations Artistic

In Africa (without including Egypt), first artistic testimonies prehistoric legacies by the old inhabitants, are rock from VIII the millenium BP (Before Present). They are thousand of paintings and engravings of human and animalísticas figures, pertaining to the cultures of the fertile valley, of which today it is the desert of the Sahara, from Mauritania to Sudan, made before their human inhabitants emigrated to the south and he disappeared the rich fauna and flora by the desertización (in century IV BP). In addition diverse neolithic feminine African towns have bequeathed us esculturillas from II the millenium BP.

Paintings And Engravings

The most archaic rock manifestations: PICTORIAL and African RELIEFS are dated between the 6000 years 8000 to BP. The paintings and engravings of walls and rock shelters, are of variadísimos styles and subjects. The figures abound with humans, with masks, and others with body sometimes smeared of target or painted with drawings of lines, and also abound different species from animals, or in joint scenes or single, many seem " pasturing or hunting scenes ". The paintings of style of " round heads " older are considered were made by towns of hunters who lived on the hunting and the harvesting from 8000 year BP. Other paintings of " style of shepherds ", think would be made by towns that domesticated the animals until year 4000 BP. Other paintings would be made by nomadic towns: the ceremonious scenes, those of style of " flying cars " or " galope flying " until year 2300. And those of style of the " camel " they would be made until the 300 AP (After Present), etc.


Although these paintings of hunters, shepherds and recolectores could reflect to the woman and man in their archaic real existence, our hypothesis is that the scenes do not reflect the daily life of the hunting, but that would be made by towns that lived on agriculture and the domestic animals and would have a mythical-metafórico meaning in relation to the attainment of vegetal foods. With ritual paintings of scenes and metafórico sense, they would try to obtain of magical form abundance nourishing vegetable, so that the herbívoros humans and animals, they were fed. The attributes and figures of complex paintings of symbolic scenes: they are mythical symbols and astronomical to which they allude metafóricamente, with that one would be to cause the shipment of the different phenomena of which the vegetation throughout the year depends and that was believed was function of the Goddess Mother Nature.


They emphasize cave paintings bequeathed by the old inhabitants of the mountainous bulks of Hoggar, the Tassili, the Tibesti, the Fezzán...

Drawing 4. Painting of " Lady White " of Auanrhet, with Moon like hat, surrounded by stars of the Milky Channel, belly with seeds metaphor of the Earth...

Drawing 1 of Tassili-N'Ajjer, Jabbaren, Arab Popular Republic of Libya (in where women existed single-breasted uniform jackets / Gorgonas). Like the cave painting of a feminine figure of round head, moving to strides it was described by Lhote (1975, 19) like " Lady Blanca " of Auanrhet / Inawanghat / Avanrhet / Ianouanrhat / Aouanrhet. It wears to the Moon as hat surrounded by stars, has kneepads and tobilleras, skirt and bracelets of flecos, arms in form of " W " and water spurts that fall of their enguantadas hands. The black skin is of color and seems as if the body had it smeared of target. In addition it has painted seeds in breasts and belly. All astronomical signs meaning that animate, with the lunar hat and stars: the Moon and the Milky Channel. Arms in " W ": cons. Serpentaria whose it forms imitates. Body with seeds: the Earth / Underground World (that it is his body, in whose Sine one lodges the seed and thanks to Fecundante water that She sends, germinates) (hermafrodita, by as much).

It represents the Rescuing Goddess: The WATER IS the MOTHER OF the LIFE, protagonist of the history of the agriculture that produces the germination (Resurrection) of the seed in vegetation, assimilated to the Great Goddesses that crown the pantheons of all agricultural mythologies at the beginning of the historical time, Goddesses Mothers of Cosechas of the agricultural Mistéricas religions: Isis, Demeter / Ceres / the Seine / Cibeles / Aphrodite / Venus / Freia / Latona / Ishtar / Inanna... and that in this case, is a Great African Goddess of the Fertility of Cosechas and the Water. And simultaneously it is model so that the Priestess, who represents the Earth Goddess, makes a ceremony of Fertility, to cause the germination of seed after seedtime: painted or tattooed the body with escarificaciones symbol of seeds, clothes of flecos propiciador magical rain symbol, with hairdo of horns symbol of the Moon, etc...

Drawing 2 Painting of Priestess of round head of Tassili-N'Ajjer, Libya taking horn, symbol of plow, making ceremony of Fertility

Goddess Mother Nature that animates the Moon, the Milky Channel, the Earth...

Goddess Mother Nature that animates the Moon, the Milky Channel, the Earth... 
                  Another painting of the bulk of Tassili-N'Ajjer, Jabbaren, is representation of a Priestess of reflected round head in dated Drawing 2 between the 6000 years 8000 to BP.

It takes kneepads, tobilleras, bracelets, a belt of which hangs two strips like taparrabos, and has a hairdo in form of medialuna. And "... the woman with the covered eyes transports something similar to an earthen bowl, as a religious ceremony." In words of Wright (1989, 13).

The horn is decorated with parallel lines (symbol of wrought field) and remembers to the horn that maintains the Woman Chamán de Laussel, dated in the year 19000 BP, more than twelve thousand years before! and horn used like plow. [ Existe still demonstrates of the use of horns of goat like plow, in the Canary Islands in century XV, according to they gather chronicles of the Spaniards when they conquered the island, in where stayed cults and customs, that according to Martín de Guzmán (1984, 515), they were similar to those of the neolithic one of the Mediterranean, which stops he it supposes: "... an exceptional phenomenon of survival." And it adds in pg. 156, the reference of Bernáldez of the Guanches that: " "... they seeded the wheat and barley with measured horns of twig goat, specially in Great the Canary Islands, and instead of plows, and thus they bolbían (sic) the Earth and they covered the grain, and they took multiplications of a measurement fifty, and not babía bread except for gofio enbuelto (sic) the grain majado with milk and the butter (136)." ] Making the ceremony of Fertility with horn, with the covered eyes, remembers the Greek Damiatrix Priestesses, who participated with the closed eyes, in Mysteries " Damias ", honor of the Goddess Damia " Domadora ", in 1er millenium BP, more than 5,000 years after the represented one in Tassili-N'Ajjer. Perhaps it carries out a rite of Purification of stables, moved by the scent.

Also it is of Tassili-N'Ajjer, the painting of inclined agriculturists seeding (drawing 3)

Of a near place used cane is the painting of African agriculturists with excavating wood / to seed or perhaps used in sacred ritual, Drawing 4.

On rocks of the Ennedi mounts of Chad, they are recorded naked feminine figures that also maintain in the hands the excavating wood, instrument of the woman cultivator, used to seed or in sacred rites Drawing 5. They have great adiposities completely and the naked body place setting of drawings, like tattoo of parallel lines. Lines in body (body Earth image, the body of the Goddess), symbolizing the plowed ground / plowed Earth and fallow ground, hoping seed to germinate.

Drawing 3 Painting of inclined agriculturists seeding Tassili-N'Ajjer, year 8000 to the 6000 BP

Drawing 4 Painting of agriculturists with excavating wood / used cane to seed or to participate in rites

Drawing 5 Engraving of feminine figures with the plowed body (image of plowed field / wrought Earth hoping seed to germinate) maintaining in hand wood-sword / used cane to seed or to participate in rites

(Nowadays it is left reminiscencia of masculine rituals that paint the body with seemed drawings, and whose origin would be based on these images. But it would be possible to be deduced that the corporal drawing would in principle adopt the priestesses who would assume protagonism in the ceremonies of Fertility of astronomical agricultural character and, like Earth representatives of the Goddess. Possibly they participated in ritual fights with woods. Later it was inherited by men after the patriarcal evolution, and from then those were they that painted the body with clay and water in ritual battles / in fights of initiation with others aims, lost already the drawings its old astronomical meaning and agriculturist). So that with the images of feminine figures with wood (or used to fight ritually or to seed) and with the body with allusive drawings to worked field, they would deal to cause to the Mother Nature, since the field was plowed ( Earth, that is the body of the Goddess) until it was seeded, thus like the coincident phenomenon: rains, so that the seed it germinated.

On rocks of the bulk of Aïr of Niger, they have been drawn, pricking the dark pátina of the granite, women with the body of sand clock and flowers of tulipán that the characteristics of the head replace, Drawing 6. They are considered of 2,500 years of antiquity. They would hope that such figures had such magical effect: that rain it produced the blossoming of the vegetation and the Nature one filled of flowers.

In Rhodesia of the South, present Zimbabue, has been the cave painting of a called hunting " Lady Blanca " of Damaraland, Drawing 7 of IV the millenium BP.

And in Africa of the Southwest, Namibia, the cave painting of " Lady Blanca " of Bramberg / Brandberg in the Sanctuary of Maack, dated Drawing 8 between the 650 years 1000 to BP (in other publications appears the cliche revealed in opposite direction

Drawing 6. Engraving on rocks of women with body of clock of sand and head like flowers of tulipán, next to


Drawing 7 Painting of Lady Blanca de Damaraland, Hunting with arc, arrows and flower in the hand

Drawing 8.Pintura of the Sanctuary of Bramberg: Hunting with belt, arc, arrows and flower in the hand accompanied by courtship of agriculturists with woods to seed or ritual use, antelopes and pregnant mare

The design of both remembers the painting of Lady Blanca de Auanrhet. The analogy would explain the commentary of Campbell (1991, 434-5): "... with the drying of the Sahara and the game of numerosísima it hunts, during the fourth millenium a.D., the capsienses and their pictorial art was transferred towards the south, where its influence can be found in the different styles from Rhodesia of the South: now famous and still more mysterious " Lady Blanca " of Damaraland... " In both cases the central figure is a hunting of great force dynamic, dressed in leotardo white or smeared legs of target and carrying arc, arrows and a flower. In the first case it appears in a scene surrounded by another woman and animals. In the second she is accompanied of a courtship of 28 personages, including animals antelopes and mare. The women who accompany the hunting take in the hands excavating woods, instruments of the recolectora woman and are adorned with bracelets, embroidered tobilleras and strips / decorated that tighten the breasts to them as a sujetador. In both cases, although the different figures seem to represent a hunting scene, our hypothesis is that they represent symbolic a ritual scene and and would have magical function: they are antecedent of the mythical figures that carry out the history of the agriculture of the agricultural Mistéricas religions and with complex metaphor they reflect that the seed that die and revive in vegetation thanks to rains, like the constellations in certain astronomical situation, from the day of sowing of the seed, as well as the coincident phenomenon of rain personify so much, until the day in which revives the vegetation and the full Nature of flowers.

Similar complex message would carry the painting of Adjefou, Tassili, Algeria in which appear Dancing feminine with high hairdos, a central itifálico man and flocks of different species Drawing 9. Although it is considered a scene of pasturing with shepherds and flocks, we thought that it is reflecting a ceremony of Fertility and astronomical purpose. The similarity with the painting of the Cave of the Moors of Cogull, Lleida, dated in the V millenium BP, is manifest Drawing 10. In both Dancers with animals are represented (goats and cows in African and ciervas and bisons in the Spanish). In both they appear clearly a itifálica figure. In both scenes a ceremony of Fertility with dances, predominantly feminine is exemplified, to cause rains. And our hypothesis is that simultaneously the different mythical protagonists personify constellations and narrate the history of the agriculture of an agricultural time.

Drawing 9. Feminine Dancers, itifálica figure and other personages, accompanied by animals, Adjefou, Tassili, Algeria

Drawing 10. Feminine dancers and itifálica figure accompanied by animals, the Cave of the Moors of Cogull, Lleida, Spain.

The Dancers would be incarnation of stars of the Pléyadas (dancers), the itifálica figure = cons. Orión/Paredro (seed) ], the animals would correspond respectively to the Híadas and the Hespéridas (rains). The meaning of the assembly would be to assure that the reflected constellations, appeared at certain moment of the year and with them the coincident, beneficial atmospheric phenomena for the agricultural process, indeed the illustrated one in Map 1.


Reflected map 1 cave painting stellar Configuration metafóricamente of Adjefou, Tassili and Cueva of the Moors of Cogull, Lleida

Drawing 11. Painting of Dancer masked with mask covered with crossed lines, image of wrought field and naked woman of round head, Ianouanrhat, Tassili

Another dancing figure, and in this masked case, appears in Ianouanrhat/Aouanrhet/Auanrhet/Inawanghat/Avanrhet, Tassili, next to a naked feminine figure of round head Drawing 11. The mask wears to suit and totally stuffed cap of crossed lines, image of plowed field hoping seed to germinate/Underground World (that are the body of the Mother Earth, in whose Sine the seed lodges and thanks to the Fecundante Water that She sends, germinates) (hermafrodita, therefore). And it would be reflecting a ceremony of Fertility to cause the nourishing abundance of the seeded fields. Although it has been described as dancing man, we thought that in principle the mask would be danced by a feminine figure and with the evolution it was replaced by a masculine figure.

(With respect to interested manipulations and interpretations, we sent to our article SOME FALSE IDEAS ON the SEXUAL PAPERS IN PREHISTORIA, in which we spoke of a antropozoomorfa figure of the Cave of Them Trois Frères of 16,000 years of antiquity: They excel in addition other animalísticas pictorial representations, in unstable positions, that remember paintings of bisons of Altamira.

Drawing 12 Painting of giraffe with body decorated with concentric circles water symbol (instead of spots information) and falling of Slugilla

Like the giraffe of Slugilla Drawing 12. It appears a giraffe with body decorated with concentric circles, rain symbol, instead of the shapeless spots that in fact have the giraffes and head in parallel inclined direction of the ground, that simulates falling.



The painting of giraffes of Rekeyeiz Drawing 13. On rocks of Libya, they appear recorded, a procession of giraffes with the body decorated with crossed lines, Drawing 14, of about 7,000 years of antiquity. Peculiarly the bodies are decorated with crossed lines, symbols of plowed field (after sowing), instead of the spots that have the giraffes in fact. Many have five appendices in the head, that correspond to the horns and the ears, whose form remembers a hand with extended fingers (= Escorpio). Hand that appears drawn well next to the giraffes of Rekayeiz. Being the reason for hands of extended fingers, a distribution that would reflect cons metafóricamente. Escorpio from the Paleolítico in Spain. Our hypothesis is that the animals would be associated to stars of cons. Híadas going away to the decline, because of Escorpio, moment at which agreed the arrival of rains. Reason why the symbolic representations of animals falling and with different symbolic attributes of rain or worked field, would have magical character, so that rain made formal appearance and made germinate the seed buried in the worked fields, and with it was abundant harvest.

Drawing 13. Painting of giraffes of Rekayeiz next to drawing of hand of extended fingers

Drawing 14 Engraving of giraffes of Libya with heads with appendices that remember hands and bodies with crossed lines, symbols of plowed field, instead of spots information


Well-known older manifestations ANTHROPOMORPHOUS ESCULTÓRICAS, of the AFRICAN PREHISTORIC cultures, are neolithic of II the millenium BP. And they are exclusively feminine like in the rest of the universe, representation of the GREAT GODDESS MOTHER. (With respect to the masculine representations in free sculptures, they are absent, like in all the prehistoric periods of all the continents).


Found stone and terra-cotta and in tombs have been made in Accompanying the feminine sculpture to the deceased, corroborates the idea that it represents the Great Goddess in the hope of which with its power will grant the Resurrection to them. Of archaic time in Africa few escultóricos rest have survived (aside from the Egyptians), to cause by a side of the carried out destruction by the defenders of the Islam and the catholic missionaries and protestant and on the other hand, because many pieces made in wood, have been deteriorated by the passage of time. Some creations bequeathed by AFRICAN PREHISTORIC cultures.


The first escultóricos testimonies are the feminine little figures pertaining to the matriarcal paleo-African civilization, found in deposits of the Sahara. Among them: The eight found neolithic heads of the Great Mother in Tabelbalet, Algeria, two acquire knowledge in Tab 31 (Áfr. 1.2). Wakes are small stone statures// posts/menhires/betilos monoliths/pyramids// cones, in which she appears recorded and confused with the same one, the image of the Goddess Mother, very similar to the neolithic French; The feminine statuette of gypsita with groove by which a thread went to hang it, indicative of its function to serve as amulet. It has púbico triangle, breasts, arms like wings symbol of registered Resurrection and in a rhombus, similar to the European paleolíticas. A rich one was along with found to ajuar in the tomb of queen Tin-Hinan, in uad Tifirt in the Oasis of Abaleska, Ahaggar, the Sahara, Algeria 31 (Áfr. 3) of century III AP. The relief of the bulk of Tassili-N'Ajjer, Jabbaren, Arab Popular Republic of Libya 31 (Áfr. 4).  It has the arms in form of "W", symbol of the Goddess distributing its gifts, elbows supported in knees and the legs in form of "M" showing vulva, Divine place of where arises everything. The position is similar to which present/display prehistoric others figurillas found in Mesopotamia, China, the Australian Continent, in America, etc., representative of the Goddess of the Nature, source of everything (Serpentaria, Virgo, the Earth...). In Saint-Donat, in the region of Constantina, Algeria, also have been vulvas recorded on rocks, Divine symbols of Fertility. And funeral constructions kerkús bereberes, in conical form of túmulo, representation of the Goddess of the Death, that welcomes in their Sine in their children to give the Resurrection them.


Senegal has bequeathed us Ídolos hermafroditas, similar to the appeared ones in Europe, Asia, America and the Australian Continent like: The found one near the Thiaroye-south-Mer/Thia Roye, Dakar 31 (Áfr. 5) carved in a gresita pebble, with parabolic torso and engravings of points and outlines and púbico triangle.


Also have been extraordinary feminine sculptures in deposits of Nubia, to the dated north of Sudan between years 1900 to the 1550 BP. Among them: The beautiful and modern embarrassed torso symbol of symbolic invocation to assure the Fertility and with drawings parallel lines, symbol of worked field, Kadada 31 (Áfr. 6); The figure with zoomorfa face, arms like wings symbol of Renaissance, found in the tomb of a young person of the strength of Aniba 31 (Áfr. 7); Another sitting with arms like wings, great adiposities in thighs and escarificaciones in belly and legs in geometric forms of waved lines and originating zigzag of Aniba 31 (Áfr. 8). All are attributes of the Goddess of the Fertility that assures the Renaissance the seeds and the Resurrection of the deceaseds, like life seeds; Other more simplified pregnant woman, with necklace symbol of status and head of ewe, that identifies with the Goddess Land of Askut 31 (Áfr. 9).


In the Chad lake have been archaeological rest made by the Sao. town abound the feminine statuettes and the spirals that decorate mud objects, with feminine meaning There with the Earth belly. Example: The pink terra-cotta of a woman with enormous mouth, necklace status symbol, escarificaciones of ears in vane or reason for "X" between the breasts, found in the Sanctuary of the Great Goddess Mother of Tago 31 (Áfr. 10). In addition it has a round central reason like metaphor for being the navel of the world, that identifies it like the Ancestral Mother. The vane/X "X" would be symbol of cons. Cross of the North or the South and the ears is a universal symbol to induce by likeable magic the nourishing abundance of harvest.


Of the civilization of Nok, developed in the North region of Nigeria, between year 600 BP to the 500 AP, has been anthropomorphous terra-cottas of negroides characteristics, found in tin mines (found for the first time in 1928 by the orerators of the English mines), characterized by hairdos of the great sophistication and wigs Example: The feminine figure with triangular eyes, drilled pupil and nose, mouth with elevated superior lip with breasts in the head like hat of Jema 31 (Áfr. 11) dated in 250 year BP. The breasts in the head would allude to to the Nutricia function of the Great Goddess Mother, located in the stop and associated to Milky Channel, which they would leave milk rivers, with that would feed humanity. With the symbolic representation the Divine intervention, so that it fed and it took care of of the human beings, like a would call to each other its babies. (We spoke of the precolonial artistic manifestations in: ).


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