Refresher course: Kamberg Rock Art Guides

In March this year the KwaZulu-Natal Museum hosted three guides (Raymond Mweli, Norman Ngcobo, and Derrick Zuma) and the manager of the Kamberg Rock Art Centre, Mr Rafael Sicelo Mnikathi, to a refresher course in the presentation of the rock art of Waterfall Shelter and Game Pass Shelter. AMAFA, the heritage agency of KwaZulu-Natal, requested the Department of Human Sciences from KZN Museum to provide this training, which was intended to refresh the training of the Kamberg guides by reinforcing their understanding and by providing new information.

The group was taken on a tour of the rock art displays and watched a couple of short films about the removal of graffiti from rock art and the work of community rock art monitoring groups in the province. The Museum’s curator of rock art, Jeremy Hollmann, then made a presentation on the Kamberg rock art. The presentation covered the history of the Drakensberg Bushmen, important details of the paintings, frequently asked questions as well as appropriate behaviour at rock art sites and customer care. The guides were also provided with a set of notes and photographs so that they could retain the information and refer to it in future. During the presentation the guides also had an opportunity to ask questions and to discuss any problems concerning their work as guides. The day concluded with a behind-the-scenes tour of the Archaeology Storeroom by Human Sciences Department Technical Assistant, Nkululeko Sibetha, who showed them the pieces of rock art that are part of the KZN Museum’s collection.

To follow up on this training the Museum’s Department of Human Sciences will carry out an evaluation of the guides’ performance by accompanying the guides to the rock art sites at Kamberg and observing how well the guides have integrated their training into their work. Certificates of participation will then be presented. 

KwaZulu-Natal Museum Information Officer, Thulani Ngubane discusses the famous ‘Elephant Man’ rock art panel, removed in 1947 with Kamberg Rock Art Centre guides Raymond Mweli, Norman Ngcobo, and Derrick Zuma while rock art specialist Jeremy Hollmann looks on. The Kamberg guides recently attended a day-long Rock Art Refresher Course at the Museum.

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