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.
|Title of host publication||Rock Art and Prehistory|
|Editors||Paul Bahn, Andrée Rosenfeld|
|Place of Publication||Oxford|
|Number of pages||7|
|Publication status||Published - May 1991|
Smith, C. E. (1991). Female artists: The unrecognized factor in sacred rock art production. In P. Bahn, & A. Rosenfeld (Eds.), Rock Art and Prehistory (pp. 45-52). Oxbow Books. https://www.amazon.com/Rock-Art-Prehistory-Oxbow-Monograph/dp/0946897328