Until recently, southern African rock art has been thought ‘San’
authored. But recent research reveals multiple rock art traditions.
Khoekhoe herders produced finger-painted and rough-pecked geometric
and ‘representational’ images. Europeans left quotidian names,
dates and place markings. Bantu-speakers have initiation-related rock
arts with recent political protest iterations. This diversity requires we
use multiple sources of evidence to ascribe authorship, meaning and
motivation. By paying attention to site preference, pigment, iconography,
archaeology, ethnography and historiography another southern
African rock art tradition is here identified. This rock art consists of
red, white and orange finger and rough-brush painted humans, animals
and aprons. A signature motif is the armed horse rider. There are
also serpents, geometrics and paint smears. At three of 31 rock art sites
recorded so far this rock art physically and conceptually interacts with
San rock art. I suggest that this rock art is an 18th–19th century
assemblage authored by ‘Korana’. Korana were !Kora-descended
Khoekhoen into which other frontiers people insinuated themselves.
Korana rock art speaks of political and militant concerns underpinned
by a magical ‘occult economy’ and is an excellent case study of
contingent identity formation.