The rock art in Tanzania exemplifies the history of cultural and artistic as well as the mental development of humankind, how it began 40.000 years ago and continues till today. Scientific findings indicate that the first artistic endeavours originated exactly in this area, the so-called Rift Valley.
For this reason, we have chosen Tanzania as the first region for our product development. Other countries worldwide will follow. All the rock paintings were photographed either by Alfons Huckebrink or Dr. Gudula Ritz and prepared by the textile designer Luana Ankerne for the artwork master, which forms the basis for the different Ritz Rock Art products. This sophisticated procedure allows the high-quality production of unique and valuable products. Rock art must be preserved and disseminated before it disappears.
Quote A. Huckebrink: The British paleoanthropologist Mary Leakey (1913-1996), who discovered these works of art and copied more than 1600 of them, feared for their relentless decay: ”I have often wished over the years that Tanzania’s rock paintings might be better known and more widely appreciated”, she stated in 1983. “They are so beautiful and disappearing so fast.”
From: A. Huckebrink: Die Kunst der Linie (2014) [The Art of Line. Africa’s Vanishing Art: The Rock Paintings of Tanzania]
in Kole, north of Kondoa, in August 2014, taking the local bus from Arusha to Kondoa.
In Kondoa we found a small tourist information centre.
We were lucky not only to have found a competent driver but also two young, very knowledgeable and likeable guides as well.
So after a 90-minute walk, resp. climb over rocky paths, we were able to marvel at the three most well-known rock caves in Tanzania with wonderful prehistoric paintings.
In January 2020, we had a new rock-art Safari with Husna und Agaton.
As can be seen, the rock paintings are protected from all weathers but not from inconsiderate visitors/tourists.
Even the UNESCO cannot provide sustainable protection for theses prehistoric treasures.
We had lunch at the premises of a social project which is financed by donations for lunch. Elderly, single women live here together and care for orphans.
Here you can see the UNESCO building in Kole which houses the museum as well as the small administration office.
Rock Art Safari 2020
In January 2020, we visited Kole again, this time to visit the Thawi Rock Art Site.
Over the years, many things have changed.
Kondoa, still a place you can call "peaceful" and "authentic", was connected to Arusha and Dodoma by a paved road.
In Thawi there are 3 caves or rock overhangs which are all close together. After a one-hour adventurous drive on rough tracks, the one-hour hike through the wilderness was an experience in itself.
The rock paintings in Thawi are more extensive, more densely painted, but also more exposed to decay by light and humidity than those in Kole. It is definitely worth visiting them.
from: The Art of Linies (2014)