- Museum number
Digital photograph (colour); view of painted rock art showing red concentric circles attached to elongated oval shapes and vertical lines. Originally, the red circles were in-filled in white. A 10cm photo scale has been fitted at the bottom centre of the tableau. Lolui Island, Uganda.
- Production date
16 March 2006 (date digitized)
June 2001-July 2001 (original photograph)
File size: 231 megabytes
Resolution: 300 dots per inch
- Curator's comments
The paintings cover the underside of the boulder forming the roof to the shelter in 2013,2034.15301 and is attributed to the Twa people.
For paintings see 2013,2034.15265-15269; 15275-15287 and 15290-15299; 15303-15305 and 15307-15315.
Lolui Island covers an area of about 28 km² and is situated in Lake Victoria at the end of a chain of islands, which are part of Bugiri District in eastern Uganda. It sits 30km from the Ugandan shore, but close to the Kenyan mainland. Excavations undertaken in 1964 by Posnansky and Temple identified a cairn complex; Middle Stone Age material; stone lines and earthworks; and 'grinding hollows' carved into rock surfaces across the island; a number of rock art and rock gong sites were also identified. Based on the nature and location of the representations the rock art has been associated with fertility rituals. Rock gongs have been found in several locations, although seemingly not in direct association with rock art. Some locations have been subject to human damage in the form of graffiti, and one rock gong site was destroyed during construction of a fish-processing facility.
Rock art in Uganda is concentrated mostly in the eastern part of the country, but more broadly sits within a regional belt of geometric rock art spanning East and Central Africa. The first documented rock art in Uganda occurred in 1913 (Teso Report) at Nyero a painted rock shelter of the Later Iron Age period and now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Only a small number of studies of Ugandan rock art rock art studies have been published, with early analyses being predominantly descriptive and highly speculative and later impeded by political instability in the 1970s and 1980s. However, Ugandan rock art is now being more widely studied and discussed in relation to attribution and interpretation.
Most of the rock art in Uganda is geometric in nature and includes both paintings (red and white being the most common pigment) and engravings; it comprises a basic and recurring repertoire of shapes including circular, rectangular, sausage, dot and lines. Concentric circles with rays emanating from them are a unique feature of Ugandan rock art. Proportionally, there are fewer engravings than paintings which may reflect a research bias rather than an actual disparity. The geometric rock art that predominates in Uganda is attributed to the BaTwa; descendants of ancient forest-dwelling hunter-gatherer groups based in the Great Lakes region of central Africa. If it is accepted that the geometric imagery was made by hunter-gatherers then the rock art of Uganda probably dates from between 12,000 to 1,000 years ago.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Africa, Oceania and the Americas
- Registration number
- Additional IDs
Previous owner/ex-collection number: UGAVIC0060056 (TARA number)