Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Kondoa Rock Paintings: Traditional Use

  • Emmanuel J. Bwasiri
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_2149


There are approximately 1,500 rock painting sites situated in the semiarid area of Kondoa District, located within the Dodoma Region in Central Tanzania. These sites are found primarily in granite and gneiss rockshelters. The majority of these sites have rock paintings, with only two exceptions having been reported: rock engraving sites to the west of Kondoa at Usandawe. Common painted motifs are animals, human, and various geometric designs. These rock painting sites do not only contain rock paintings but also have a rich archaeological record dating from the Middle Stone Age (MSA) right up to the Iron Age (Masao 1979; Kessy 2005). Some of the rockshelters, notably the Mongomi wa Kolo shelter and its surrounding environments, are also connected to living heritage. This site and its landscape have been used by local people, the Warangi and Waasi, for traditional ritual ceremonies (Leakey 1983; Chalcraff 2005; Bwasiri 2011).

Kondoa sites are National Monument under the...

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Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Antiquities DivisionDar es SalaamTanzania
  2. 2.Rock Art Research Institute, GAESUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa