The key to understanding any people is in its art: its writing, painting, sculpture.― Louis L'Amour, Education of a Wandering Man
Its true that art reveals a community's culture. Culture and art go hand in hand, they have evolved together. The human mind, the ever thinking machine, with its audio-visual inputs, churned out what we call art.. drawings, paintings, sculptures, music, dance, literature and what not. Humans imitated Nature with a twist of imagination and created beautiful things. Here's a quote by a Colombian artist named Fernando Botero: A painted landscape is always more beautiful than a real one, because there's more there. Everything is more sensual, and one takes refuge in its beauty. And man needs spiritual expression and nourishing. It's why even in the prehistoric era, people would scrawl pictures of bison on the walls of caves. Man needs music, literature, and painting-all those oases of perfection that make up art-to compensate for the rudeness and materialism of life.
I'm trying to imagine how paintings evolved.. humans must have drawn on sand or dirt using their fingers or twigs or stones. Probably random lines and curves in the beginning. Plants and hills might have been next because they were stationary. So man learns to draw leaves and flowers. Then came human themselves because they lived together. Humans drew individual humans, then couples, and groups. Then came animals pictures.. the animal figures had to be remembered and then drawn.. not as easy as plants or human. Sand drawings would fade out soon. Some one tried drawing with animal blood on a rock with fingers.. blood dried up and remained on stone for longer time. Or some herbs or minerals were discovered whose color was similar to blood. The ever thinking human mind experimented with blood, herbs pigment and minerals pigment, did some mixing and discovered paint. On the other hand, man found better ways to apply paint.. they must have tried feathers, twigs, leaves, animal hair among other things. With passing of time, rock painting became prehistoric diaries. A tribute to some brave huntsman or a warrior or in memory of a dance ritual. Humans had reared cattle and hunting dogs, they must have drawn pictures of the largest bull or the most shrewd canine... So here we have a painting of oxen, dogs and a bird too.
|Onake Kindi near Anegundi - oxen and dogs|
|Onake Kindi near Anegundi - unknown|
As you see these drawings are made of fine lines. Especially the oxen's horns in the first picture. The artists has a fine hand but the paint brush had to be convenient too. I guess paintings were made during a certain time of year.. when the air had the right balance of moisture in it at the right temperature so that the liquid dries over certain period of time. If the paint dries too quickly it might turn brittle and crumble. So humans understood the chemistry and physics of paints.
|Onake Kindi near Anegundi - tiger hunting|
|Onake Kindi near Anegundi - anthropomorphic|
Here are paintings seen at other sites.. starting with Kutkankeri. The most predominant pattern seen here are zig-zag lines of the striped hyena which are local to this region.
|Kutkankeri - pattern of Indian striped hyena|
|Kutkankeri - Indian striped hyena|
On the same hill, at a different rock shelter are two small paintings. This is one of them. This seems like a battle scene; the two warriors are wielding swords and shields. The horse's features are nicely drawn- upright hair on its neck, its eye is clearly visible, its four legs, one of the fore legs hoof is predominant and its tail is long. Such a sweet little drawing. I have a feeling this has been created by a very young artists.. may be 8 or 9 year old.
|Kutkankeri - battle scene|
|rock shelter at Mudgal fort|
|rock shelter at Mudgal fort - human forms|
|Gudekote hill - pair of oxen|
Next here are paintings of Beerappa Rock Shelter near Sanganakallu and Kappagallu villages of Bellary. This seems like a peacock. In fact one of the peaks of Hiregudda resembles a peacock head and its called Peacock hill. Probably the plains surrounding the hills were covered with woods, making it an ideal terrain for peacocks.
|Beerappa Rock Shelter - Peacock|
|Beerappa Rock Shelter - Deer|
|Hire Benkal's Chitra Gundu - hunting scenes|
|Hire Benkal's Chitra Gundu - deer|
|Badami Hiregudda - strange looking animals|
|Badami Hiregudda - strange looking anthropomorphic figures|
In fact the presence of this astronaut like creature gives a feeling these might be alien creatures. The objects behind the astronaut's head seems like a spaceship. Pretty mysterious set of paintings there are.
|Badami Hiregudda - astronaut?|
There are many more such sites.. places which I wish to visit, which I wish to discover..