South African art is the visual art produced by the people inhabiting the geographical location of South Africa. The oldest art objects in the world were discovered in a South African cave. “Archaeologists have discovered two sets of art kits thought to be 100,000 years old at a cave in South Africa. The findings provide a glimpse into how early humans produced and stored ochre – a form of paint – which pushes back our understanding of when evolved complex cognition occurred by around 20,000 – 30,000 years. Also, dating from 75,000 years ago, they found small drilled snail shells could have no other function than to have been strung on a string as a necklace. South Africa was one of the cradles of the human species. The scattered tribes of Khoisan and San peoples moving into South Africa from around 10000 BC had their own fluent art styles seen today in a multitude of cave paintings. They were superseded by Bantu and Nguni peoples with their own vocabularies of art forms. In the present era, traditional tribal forms of art were scattered and re-melded by the divisive policies of apartheid. New forms of art evolved in the mines and townships: a dynamic art using everything from plastic strips to bicycle spokes. In addition to this, there also is the Dutch-influenced folk art of the hardy Afrikaner Trek Boers and the urban white artists earnestly following changing European traditions from the 1850s onwards, making for an eclectic mix which continues to evolve today.

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