Art, animals and animism:On the trail of the precolonial

Wingfield, Chris (2020) Art, animals and animism:On the trail of the precolonial. In: The Pasts and Presence of Art in South Africa. Conversations . McDonald Institute, Cambridge, Cambridge, pp. 111-126. ISBN 978-1-913344-01-6

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Starting with an image, published in London in 1822, of the interior of a South African house decorated with paintings of wild animals, this paper explores how to approach evidence for precolonial artistic practices unlike those documented by later ethnographers. Working backwards from the published image, using Gell’s notion of the art nexus, to the paintings encountered at Kaditshwene in May 1820 by the missionary traveller John Campbell, this paper explores what depictions of non-human animals tell us about related ontological understandings, suggesting that these understandings were significantly transformed by the large-scale exploitation of wild animals during the colonial period.

Item Type: Book Section
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Centres > Sainsbury Research Unit for the Arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas
Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 05 May 2020 00:12
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2021 17:34
DOI: 10.17863/CAM.59949

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