Indigenous communities of the Karoo

Dorothy Tongue: Exploring The World Of The San

At the turn of the last century, a Cradock school teacher made a breakthrough in techniques used to record San rock art.  She was Helen Tongue and she taught at Rockland Girls’ High School in Cradock, from the late 1890s to early 1900s. It was there that she met Dorothea Bleek, daughter of famous San […]

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George Stow and Joseph Orpen, collectors of rock art treasures

George Stow was 21 years old when he arrived in Port Elizabeth in 1843. A geologist by profession, he was “a Victorian gentleman of many talents,” said his friends. He was a historian, ethnographer, artist, cartographer, writer and poet. The South African veld beckoned him and rock art fascinated him.  It took him into caves […]

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Rare Khoi pots found in Prince Albert

Two clay pots, typical of those used by early Khoekhoe or Khoi (Hottentot) people, were recently found  in the Prince Albert area after a heavy rainstorm.  They had been washed out of a natural drainage channel at Waterkop smallholdings, on the outskirts of the village, and were discovered by Gareth Williams and his friend Willem […]

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Rock art in the Karoo: The work of Dorothea Bleek

Dorothea was the fifth daughter of Dr Wilhelm Bleek, the man who did great work capturing the San language. She followed in her father’s footsteps.  She was born in Mowbray, Cape Town, in 1873, but at the age of 11 moved to Germany with her family. There she completed her schooling and trained as a teacher. The […]

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The ways of the Bushmen

A bow and arrow are the principal weapons of the Bushman, writes Lieutenant Arnold W Hudson in Trekking the Great Thirstland.  “The tip is always poisoned. I have not been able to find out what the poison consists of, but I believe it comes from a root, caterpillar or grub.  I do know, however, that […]

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Who built the ancient walls in the Seekoei River Valley?

Archaeologist Garth Sampson started working on a large-scale, long-term project in the 1970s.   Over the years, this project developed into the largest surveyed archaeological site in Africa and the best known research project in the Karoo, states the summer 2011 issue of Karoo News, the Nama Karoo Foundation newsletter.  The inspiration for this Zeekoei Valley […]

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