2. Rock Art and Shamanism

  1. Jo McDonald2 and
  2. Peter Veth3
  1. J. David Lewis-Williams

Published Online: 23 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118253892.ch2

A Companion to Rock Art

A Companion to Rock Art

How to Cite

Lewis-Williams, J. D. (2012) Rock Art and Shamanism, in A Companion to Rock Art (eds J. McDonald and P. Veth), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118253892.ch2

Editor Information

  1. 2

    Centre for Rock Art Research and Management, University of Western Australia, Australia

  2. 3

    University of Western Australia, Australia

Author Information

  1. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 JUL 2012
  2. Published Print: 8 AUG 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444334241

Online ISBN: 9781118253892



  • explanatory frameworks, new insights into shamanism, and concept of misuse;
  • rock art and shamanism, rock art with no direct connections to ethnography;
  • rock arts, many being not shamanistic in their origin;
  • altered states of consciousness, the mental/physiological;
  • altered states of consciousness, and striking parallels;
  • archaeological evidence, people and their shifting consciousness;
  • shamanic, rock arts by shamans and shamanistic, by non-shamans;
  • indigenous people, seeing things in their own thought categories and idioms;
  • San rock art, animism a broad context, with shamanism existing, or absent;
  • North American rock arts and shamanism


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Abstract

  • Definition

  • Altered States of Consciousness

  • Shamanic and Shamanistic

  • Method and Evidence

  • Animism and Shamanism: A Southern African Example

  • Mythology and Shamanism

  • North America

  • Analogy

  • Upper Paleolithic Art

  • “Unusual and Peculiar”

  • Moving Forward

  • Acknowledgment

  • References