THE GIRAFFE ART MOTIF
The Giraffe Motif
Why were giraffe chosen to adorn the outcrop? Were these tall and graceful animals were perceived by a palaeolithic society as especially impressive
Why were giraffe chosen to adorn the outcrop? The selection is important - the carvings cannot be seen from the ground, but only by climbing onto the outcrop. Moreover, the area that was used - the stone canvas - had been prepared for the carvings.
Was it because these tall and graceful animals were perceived by a palaeolithic society as especially impressive: chimeric figures, with the face of a camel and the spots of a leopard, markings that had been portrayed with such attention to detail in the carvings; animals with a speed and ferociousness in self-defence that belied their unhurried gait? There is no other animal like a giraffe.
Or, perhaps their unique attribute resided in their unusually large eyes which may have attracted the attention of ancient cultures. The giraffes’ ability to see great distances, beyond scent or sound, would not have gone unnoticed, and may have become a metaphor for foresight and prediction.
If this gift could be tapped by the group's priest or shaman, it would have a great influence. Perhaps this explains the thin line leading from each giraffe mouth to the top of the head of small human like figures.
The carvings can only be seen
by climbing the outcrop
The tall and graceful giraffe
of Africa's Tenere Desert
Why did giraffe attract the attention of
The giraffes unusually
Tuareg of the present day Tenere Desert
Thin line leading from each giraffe mouth
→ Dabous Giraffe Index
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