Digital George Stow
Institution : Iziko (no number assigned)
Size : 1017mmx675mm
Description : [OS - two joined halves] A battle of some form between figures bearing shields and smaller figures bearing bows and arrows. Twenty-two figures. Most of the figures bear weaponry, some lie dead or wounded on the ground (blood is depicted emerging from their bodies). The larger figures bear knobkerries, sticks, patterned shields and spears. The smaller figures to the right of the painting bear bows and arrows and wear quivers. There are three whole animals resembling antelope or bovids in the far right corner of the painting, as well as three disembodied heads of the same animals. There are spears and arrows depicted flying about. "From great cave in outlying ridge Brakfontein[?] Koesberg O.F.S" [Two joined halves.]
Verso : "51"
Description in published source : “PLATE 36
LOCALITY.– Cave in Brakfontein Ridge on farm La Belle France. Owner, Mr. Connor Swanepool.
SITE.– South-east of the Gryskop across a plain rises the Koesberg, a long range running north and south with many outliers. In a little ridge at right angles to the range is a cave facing south. It is best reached from the north of the ridge, where a farm road runs along the hill to a gap. This road leaves the road from La Belle France and Brakfontein about half-way between the two farms.
DESCRIPTION.– There are not many paintings here and all are in a bad preservation, but those copied are quite visible. The figures on this cartoon are in the same positions to each other on the rock, partly superimposed on red, orange, and black animals.
EXPLANATION.– This picture and the two following ones are evidently records of historic events. Between 1821 and 1828 the Amangwane, a Zulu sub-tribe living in Natal and fleeing before Tshaka, fell on another Zulu sub-tribe, the Amahlubi, who thereupon moved north-west through the Drakensberg and made war on the tribes living there. The Amangwane followed the Amahlubi, and both tribes, still fighting with each other, continued their warfare against the people living south and east of the Caledon River, namely the Bushmen and some recently settled Basutos. This is a fight between Zulus, recognizable by the well-known oval or semi-oval shield, and Bushmen. The artists make their own side victors, for many of the enemy are wounded and bleeding profusely. As Bushmen used poisoned arrows, the Bantu tribes used to cut out their flesh all round the wound to escape an otherwise certain death.
Dimensions: 23 3/4 x 36 1/2 inches." (Bleek)
Published : "Rock Paintings in SA" plate 36
Locality : La Belle France, Brakfontein Ridge, Koesberg