Digital George Stow
Institution : Iziko (no number assigned)
Size : 1014mmx674mm
Description : Seven figures of mixed description: they all carry bows and arrows, quivers, and sticks. The top central three wear skins, cloaks or karosses and carry bags. There are rows of dots in five semi-parallel lines running across the page. There are a variety of animals pictured: an antelope pierced by an arrow, two predators resembling lionesses, a very large central snake, four antelope (central one white), an unidentifiable patterned animal and two animals resembling hippos or water animals. "Cave on the Banks of the Nciba, [illegible] Kei O.F.S. 10 April 1870" [Two joined halves.]
Verso : "No 28"
Description in published source : "CATHCART DISTRICT
This part of the country is mountainous and well watered. The Thorn River, the Waku, and the Lower Black Kei twist and turn through the hills, and their bends are caves washed out of the banks, not a few of which have paintings. It is a fertile country with high bushes and trees, partly with grass. Now most of the land is occupied by prosperous farms; when Stow visited the place in 1867 it was native territory inhabited by the Gaikas - with a few exceptions the former Bushman inhabitants had been destroyed. In the first half of the nineteenth century a Bushman called by the Dutch ‘Windvogel’ had lived in the neighbourhood with his people. The mountains close to Carthcart preserves his name." (Bleek) PLATE 3
LOCALITY.- Cave on the Lower Black Kei on the farm Upper Longreach. Owner, Mrs. Krout.
SITE,- The cave is on the right bank of the river facing north-west about half an hour’s walk below the homestead of Longreach. It is very long and open.
DESCRIPTION.- This is a picture gallery that has been used over and over again; it would take hours to enumerate all one can see and weeks to copy it. Stow’s six cartoons do not account for the third of the work. The paintings have faded and large pieces of rock have fallen, but much is left.
The figures copied here are not all in one part of the cave. The python is in the centre; a flake of rock has fallen with part of the snake and the hippo calf. Traces of the yellow leaping buck are just decipherable with red figures superimposed on part of it; the python is superimposed on some of these. The red and white eland should be bigger, but the superpositions of this group are correct. Of the other figures I saw in different parts of the cave the two leopards, the tall man in brick red, the men in yellow and blue shooting, and the upper black hippo calf with the man, of whom only the head is left. There are many pictures of hippos in the cave. These great beasts lived in the black Kei till exterminated in the first half of the nineteenth century by the invading Tembus and Xosas, who also killed off the Bushmen.
EXPLANATION.- Stow wrote, ‘There are no less than four series of paintings in this cartoon, one over the other. 1st, the leaping buck; 2nd, the python; 3rd, the rows of dots (these are the mystery of these paintings); 4th, the Eland. In the left corner disguised Bushmen shooting a Steinbok’.
The man with the speckled kaross has the protruding heels of the kafirs. The little hunter carrying his bow over his shoulder has a buck skin over his back with the animal’s head pulled over his. The garments of the men at the top of the cartoon resemble those still worn by Bushmen of the Kalahari, namely a kaross, a leather bag carrying food and small
implements, and leather bands.
Dimensions: 25 x 38 inches." (Bleek)
Published : "Rock Paintings in SA" plate 3
Locality : Neiba River; Longreach, Lower Black Kei River