Chongoni Rock-Art Area



CountryMalawi
UNESCO RegionAfrica
LocationDedza District, Central Region
CoordinatesS14 17 36 E34 16 45
Inscription Date2006
Property (ha)12,640
Type of HeritageCultural
CriteriaTo bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared
CriteriaTo be directly or tangibly associated with events or living traditions; with ideas; or with beliefs; with artistic and literary works of outstanding universal significance
Unesco Reference Number476
URLhttp://whc.unesco.org/en/list/476
DescriptionSituated within a cluster of forested granite hills and covering an area of 126.4 km2, high up the plateau of central Malawi, the 127 sites of this area feature the richest concentration of rock art in Central Africa. They reflect the comparatively scarce tradition of farmer rock art, as well as paintings by BaTwa hunter-gatherers who inhabited the area from the late Stone Age. The Chewa agriculturalists, whose ancestors lived there from the late Iron Age, practised rock painting until well into the 20th century. The symbols in the rock art, which are strongly associated with women, still have cultural relevance amongst the Chewa, and the sites are actively associated with ceremonies and rituals.
StatusWorld Heritage Site