National Geographic : 1983 Jul
MUSICAL TRIO adorns a rockface at a site called Kwa Mtea. A tracing (below) duplicates the actualscene (left) in which three figures perform to music. The figure wearing stylized plumes beats time with clappers, while music pours from the mouth of the centralfigure, and the one at right appearsto dance. All three wear skirts, indicatingthey arefemale. This tracingreveals that the figure at left was superimposed over an earlierrenderingof an antelope.Fingertipprints, a common design, appearto overlay the other two figures. "Good paintingsurfaces were scarce," explains the author. "Later artists simply painted over the work of their predecessors, sometimes producingseveral layers of scenes." Although resembling the performers at Kwa Mtea, a pipe player (right) appearson a rock face at Pahi, 15 miles distant. Stylizations include four-fingered hands and musical notes that drip from the end of the pipe. The figure's tail-like appendageis a back apron,an item still worn by men of the San peoples in southernAfrica, suggesting the pipe playeris a male.