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Bradshaw Foundation Rock Art Paintings Engraving Sites Sri Lanka
Bradshaw Foundation Rock Art Paintings Engraving Sites Sri Lanka
Bradshaw Foundation Rock Art Paintings Engraving Sites Sri Lanka
India Rock Art Archive
Introduction
The vast concentration of ancient rock paintings in India

India Rock Art Headhunters
Headhunters of Pachmarhi rock art
© Meenakshi Dubey-Pathak
Follow the journeys of Dr. Jean Clottes through the Vindhyan range of central India as he investigates the rock art of Bhimbetka, and its seven forested hills with more than 500 painted sandstone shelters. Explore the Pachmarhi Hills in the State of Madhya Pradesh with Dr. Meenakshi Dubey Pathak, whose research reveals that the prehistoric rock paintings bear a strong resemblance to the contemporary paintings created by the indigenous tribal groups on the adobe walls of their thatched huts and on wooden artefacts.

Then follow Dr. Meenakshi Dubey Pathak of the Rock Art Network into central India where she describes the work she has been carrying out on the rock art in the State of Chhattisgarh. She reveals that although many images appear to remain mysterious to us, Chhattisgarh is one of the few places in the world where the perseverance of traditions allows us to understand the meaning, or some of the meanings, of diverse motifs.

India Rock Art Bhimbetka World Heritage List UNESCO
Red archer with bow from Bhimbetka World Heritage List of UNESCO
© Jean Clottes
This region of India disproves the long-held assumption that rock art was a static cultural phenomenon, frozen in time. During her work in Central India, she realized that traditional ceremonies along with stories - followed since time immemorial - were still taking place in various painted shelters at auspicious times of the year. The Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh examples (and no doubt elsewhere) thus give an unexpected new dimension to Indian rock art. In most of central India, rock art sites have been reused for modern religious purposes and many have been transformed into Hindu sanctuaries, sometimes defacing or completely destroying the ancient rock art motifs in the process.

Working in Chhattisgarh with Dr. Jean Clottes since 2014, together they visited and documented sixty-three painted shelters, most of them in deep jungles and forests which cover over 44% of the surface of the State. They were guided and accompanied to the sites by local Forest officers and by tribal men from the nearest villages. There were traces of modern sanctuaries and ceremonies in a number of painted sites, as well as modest deposits that seemed to be in direct relation to the paintings. Indeed, at several of the sites, the guides themselves carried out rituals before documentation could begin.

Rock Art Paintings India Archaeology
Rock art worship is one of the numerous religions of India and the most ancient, perhaps at the origin of some beliefs and rituals in other more widespread creeds. By continuing the themes and motifs of their prehistoric ancestors' rock art, the present-day artists are recognising and celebrating the importance of this ancient rock art legacy.

This legacy is also being preserved through education; Dr Meenakshi Dubey Pathak has been working with local tribes in order to understand their art and culture, and from this understanding she now creates art inspired by the rock art; on canvas, tree bark, stone, glass, and fabric.

This has led to rock art workshops aimed at educating the young of this cultural legacy.

Rock Art Paintings Archaeology
A herd of red stags
with huge antlers
© Bradshaw Foundation
 
Rock Art Tribal Art Madhya Pradesh India
Rock Art and Tribal Art
of Madhya Pradesh
© Bradshaw Foundation
 
Handprints Rock Art Tribal Art India
Handprints in Rock Art
& Tribal Art of India
© Bradshaw Foundation
 
Nishangarh Rock Art Site Satpura Hills Pachmarhi India
Nishangarh Rock Art Site
Satpura Hills, Pachmarhi
© Bradshaw Foundation
 
Handprints Rock Art Tribal Art India Archaeology
Handprints in Rock Art
& Tribal Art of India
© Bradshaw Foundation
 
Painted Rock Art Shelters Dharkundi India
Painted Shelters of
Dharkundi in India
© Bradshaw Foundation

→ Discover more about the Rock Art of India
→ Introduction to the Rock Art of India
→ The Rock Art of Central India
→  The Rock Art Paintings of Pachmarhi Hills
→ India Rock Art Gallery
→ Rock Art of Chhattisgarh State
→ Preservation & Education of Rock Art in India
→ Contemporary Art
→ Dr V. S. Wakankar
→ Meenakshi Dubey-Pathak
→ Headhunters of Pachmarhi Rock Art
→ Rock Art and Tribal Art of Madhya Pradesh
→ Ritually vandalized rock art site in central India
→ Handprints in the Rock Art and Tribal Art of India
→ UNESCO World Heritage Rock Art Site of Bhimbetka
→ Painted Shelters of Dharkundi in India
→ Nishangarh Rock Art Site of India

→ Bradshaw Foundation
→ Rock Art Network

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Bradshaw Foundation Rock Art Network Getty Conservation Institute
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