:: Making Ochre At Blombos - Mural Design ::

:: Melkhoutfontein, Stilbaai, Western Cape, South Africa::
:: February & March 2016 - March & April 2017 - February & March 2018 ::

About the Project    Progress    Murals 2016    Murals 2017
Murals 2018    Encounters with the Swift People

Building Fish Traps    Milkwood Tree    Making Ochre    Under the Milkwood    Swift Ppl 6    Building Fish Traps    Making Ochre At Blombos    Swift Ppl 7

:: 2018 - 45cm x 35cm - Acrylics, Inks & Markers on Canvas Board ::

One interpretation of the famous archaeological findings of inscribed ochre pieces and ochre-stained seashells at the site of Blombos cave, some 15 miles from Melkhoutfontein, is that the occupants were grinding ochre down to make a body paint. Since this site is over 75,000 years old, this represents some of the earliest evidence for an authentically human symbolic culture. In a conversation with the anthropologist Chris Knight in January 2017, he told me that early excavations had revealed a slab of rock covered in red ochre paint, but that this finding did not get recorded since, at the time, the archaeoloigists didn't realise what they were seeing (and the 75,000 year old artefacts hadn;t been discovered yet). Here, then, is an imaginative reconstruction of the making ochre ritual, which incorporates the anecdotal story of the ochre-stained slab. This mural was realised on Sanna's House in March 2018.

Making Ochre At Blombos



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