National Geographic : 1963 Jun
KODACHROMESBY KIP ROS Hunters head home with their kills in this painting from Game Pass Valley. Animal tails dangle ing far beyond what I had any right to ask or expect. I wrote to Berry D. Malan, then Director of the Archaeological Survey of the Union of South Africa, thinking he would be the most knowledgeable authority. His response was an offer to accompany us. It was a mar velous invitation and we accepted at once. Without his guidance we could not possibly have found, let alone reached, many of the sites we visited, nor viewed them with such delightful companionship. Malan turned out to be as charming as he was expert. Serene and gay, he possessed a good humor incapable of being ruptured ex cept by one phenomenon: When, after a stiff climb to a Bushman shelter, he beheld the initials of the ubiquitous breed of Kilroys scratched over the paintings, his rage was as hot as it was justified. What follows on these pages I learned from 852 Berry Malan, from other kindly scholars, and from books. Of the books, the most fascinating and rewarding for the layman is Rock Paint ings of the Drakensberg,by Alex R. Willcox.* The majority of the photographs which il lustrate this article are his, made over long years of tramping through that wild and beautiful land. It is tempting to say that a visit to the Bush man paintings opens up an entirely new world. It is true, too, but the difficulty comes with the word "new." To be sure, the paintings were probably made in the past several hun dred years-recent in archeological terms. But in everything save the dates, the Bushmen and their world are old. They were Paleolithic men, survivors of the Old Stone Age. They and their era are gone. Only a relative handful of Bushmen still cling to life in the Kalahari, and even they *Max Parrish and Co., Ltd., London, 1956.