Saharan rupestral paintings always show very busy women : they keep herds, gather wild grains and fruits, prepare meals, raise children and take care of handicraft such as the making of baskets and pottery , bracelets and necklaces etc.........
The artists have taken great care drawing these feminine portraits : the figures are always beautiful and very elegant .
Pict.1-> " Round Heads " style :is one of the oldest artistic outbreak and could be dated up to the 5th millenium before our times . We see a woman whose body is ornated with painted patterns , holding objects the use of which remains unknown but reminds me of the long gourds in which , Masaļs , nowadays , collect the milk and blood from their cows .
Pict.2-> two superimposed pictures of women : the breasts are drawned vertically on one side of the body which is typical of the " Round Heads " style .
Pict.3&4 -> Era of the Stockbreeders , 3rd millenium before our times : here we have a melanoderm type woman , sitting on a cowhide , feeding her baby and a group of women travelling on oxback . This last picture features mediterranean type figures as on many paintings of that period ( different ethnic groups existed in Sahara - as nowadays - ), the richness of the clothing and the elegance of the women are remarquable .
© Odile Prigent-Paleologos 1998-2005