Female artists: The unrecognized factor in sacred rock art production

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    While the existence of rock art sites sacred to males has received considerable anthropological and archaeological attention, no-one seems to have seriously considered women's role in the production of sacred rock art, or that women may have had rock art sites from which men were excluded. It records an interview by Josephine Flood (at which the author was present) with Wardaman Aboriginal women at Yingalarri waterhole on Willeroo Station, Northern Territory, Australia. They discuss the production of sacred rock art by women, stating that both women and men have right to retouch particular paintings at particular sites. The paper then identifies examples where it is likely that Aboriginal women produced rock art in Australia including Beswick Creek Cave (Dora Gudaluk) and in the Kimberley, as recorded by Phyllis Kaberry. This paper reveals a fundamental flaw in the stereotype that only men can produce sacred rock art, with significant implications for the archaeology of other times and placees.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRock Art and Prehistory
    EditorsPaul Bahn, Andrée Rosenfeld
    Place of PublicationOxford
    PublisherOxbow Books
    Number of pages7
    ISBN (Print)9780946897322
    Publication statusPublished - May 1991


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