Rock Art in the Matopos: Interpretation, Impact and Identity

Rachel Faye Giraudo : Anthropology

Mentor: Professor Margaret Conkey, Anthropology

This summer, Rachel will travel to Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe to conduct a community-based study of rock art sites, dating from approximately 9,000 years ago when San hunter-gatherers painted images on rock shelters. Her goal is to develop a collaborative interpretation of the sites, through empirical research and qualitative interviews with local inhabitants, including Shona, Ndebele and white Zimbabweans. With the official endorsement and support of the museum that administers the sites, she will be well positioned to deepen our understanding of the effects of tourism and archaeological study on identity formation and nationalism in modern Zimbabwe. Her research will culminate in her Senior Anthropology Honors Thesis and in a multimedia module that will make her research more broadly accessible.