Rock Art in Malawi is a World Heritage Site

One of the latest UNESCO World Heritage sites is in Malawi. Chongoni Rock Art, found clustered in 127 different locations in the granite hills of Malawi’s central plateau, are images painted onto rock. They’ve been here for a long time-a very long time. The folks who painted them may date back to the late Stone Age when folks were hunter-gatherers. The Chewa ethnic group in Malawi whose ancestry goes back to the Iron Age is also responsible for some of the art. The Chewa, an agriculturally-based ethnic group that lives in Malawi today, were still painting on the rocks until the early 20th century. They continue to tie their ceremonies and rituals to the paintings. Because the practice of creating rock art is not common among agriculturally-based people, the existence of this work is interesting in itself. As another interesting note, most of the art is connected to symbolism that depicts women. Yeah! I like that.

One of the reasons Chongoni Rock Art is deemed a World Heritage site is that this is the largest concentration of rock art in Central Africa.