TERMITES OF THE GODS, San cosmology in southern African rock art

: Mguni (S.)

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202pp., b/w & colour illus., maps, paperback, Johannesburg, 2015


Siyakha Mguni narrates his search for the meaning of the theme in San rock paintings known as "formlings", and argues that formlings are representations of flying termites and their underground nests.

"This book has the potential to change the public perception of San rock art as a relatively trivial pastime and replace it with convincing evidence that many images and themes are in fact based on sophisticated religious symbolism that permeated all aspects of San life over thousands of years. It is a milestone in rock art interpretation because it focuses specifically on the complexity of one particular theme, the elusive formlings, which have challenged rock art specialists for decades." Janette Deacon, co-author of "Human Beginnings in South Africa: uncovering the secrets of the stone age"

Siyakha Mguni is project manager of the International Rock Art Collaboration coordinated from the Rock Art Research Institute, School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand