Nyero Rock Paintings
Nyero Rock Paintings are amazing cultural-historical markings that are believed to have been made by ancient beings and have turned out to be one of the top tourist destinations in Uganda. The different paintings have been presented many times on the different art exhibitions but, the Nyero rock paintings are century winning art facts that have existed for a long time, about many centuries ago. The Nyero rock paintings exhibit real truth about the existence of the smartest people that came before the modern-day civilization. Nyero rock paintings are also proof to tag all the myths and the legends about the ancient people of eastern Uganda and the foundation of east African history. The Nyero rock painting is found in the Kumi district within the eastern region of Uganda. It is easy to reach Kumi district by road; it is just about 250km from Kampala capital city of Uganda. From Kumi town, the directions to the Nyero rock are clear as the local people can easily take you there. The rock paints present the most important rock art in Uganda and East Africa at large.
A visit to Nyero rock paintings is something you need to wind up your safari in Uganda. Most of the travellers to Uganda come mainly for the big safaris such as game drives in the open savannah national parks with in the western region, and gorilla trekking in bwindi impenetrable national park, then they feel like that’s all they can enjoy in the pearl. However, Uganda is very much endowed and reach with a lot of attractive places and features that will blow you mind away if at all you would take enough ties to discover the hidden treasures with in the pearl of Africa. The small details you add onto your Ugandan safaris matter a lot such as a visit to Mbale for the Nyero rock paintings will make your stay in Uganda a pearly one.
History about the Nyero rock paintings
The history behind the Nyero rock paintings might be the key to unlocking the different archaeological questions about the east African region. The Nyero rock paintings are some old features that have existed for over 1 million years. The rock paintings where first documented in 1914 by the geologists or researchers that called them the geometric nature. The Nyero rock paintings are believed to be the same as the paintings found in the rock caves of the east, central and some parts of the South African region. The Nyero rock paintings and other rock paintings around the African continent have a similarity that makes them homogeneous such as the red pigment, and they are believed to have been drawn by the late Stone Age hunter-gatherer tribes of long ago.
Research has it that the Nyero rock paintings are attributed to the pygmies of east and central African forests; the batwa people, who are found living in the small communities in the deep forests of Africa and in cavy areas such as garama rock cave in south western Uganda. It is believed that the batwa or twa people once live in bigger communities and stayed in the big caves of the rocky areas where they generated the art that is present today and an attraction to the modern-day. The batwa (renowned artists for the Nyero rock paintings) are believed to have been displaced due to the migration and settlement, of the Luo, nilotics and the Bantu, in the astern areas of Uganda. The Nyero rock paintings put a light on the culture of the iteso people of eastern Uganda, Uganda and the whole African culture at large.
What is expected at the Nyero rock paintings in eastern Uganda?
The Nyero rock paint is not a solid painting on top of a granite or graphite rock outcrop, but they are paintings on the ceiling of the rock caves of Nyero in western Uganda. Nyero rock painting is found in 6 small rock shelters or chambers in a rock cave, as explained below.
The first rock shelter of Nyero rock painting site is a cave formed out of the overhanging rock on the support of three other rocks beneath. The edges of the rocks in the first shelter of Nyero rock painting site, there are white color paintings drawn in circles and others in shape of the acacia pods among others.
The second rock paintings shelter at Nyero rock painting site, is also the main shelter within the area. It is described by a 10 m high rock vertically presented against the back wall of another rock with an overhanging that looks like a broken boulder; it is the boulder that protects the rock paintings from the direct sunlight. The paintings in the second shelter at Nyero rock paintings are made all in red pigment in shapes of concentric circles and other 40 different drawings within the circles.
The other shelter, which is also the third shelter, is found in the far northern side of the Nyero inselberg; only about 8 minutes’ walk from the second shelter. It is described with large boulder rock over another supporting it. The third shelter is very short with no space for standing upright inside the cave; the visitors who wish to go in and see the paintings have to enter while crouching low. The paintings in the third shelter are made with a white pigment of concentric circles. The designs are also double-edged with curved designs.
The other shelters including the fourth, fifth and the sixth rock painting shelters small shelters found on the western side of the hill where the Nyero rock painting is found. The fourth shelter is found in the south western side of the Nyero rock painting site. In the fourth shelter, you can only find a few red rock paintings and red finger-prints in circles with spirals. The fifth shelter, on the other hand, is found on the western side of the rock painting near the primary school in the area. The paintings arm and with red pigment with a combination of lines circles with brush-like shed together with finger shades; part of the rock paintings in the southern part are washed away so you can only see a few traces of the drawings.
The sixth shelter of the Nyero rock painting is found in the northern part of the hill; it is situated on the top of the hill where you can see a wide spectrum of the surrounding countryside. The paintings are made in oval shapes and many slanting L-shaped drawings and other paintings are made in outline shapes of circles. The rock paintings are so educational and enlightening, plus the people living near the area are very hospitable. The visit to Nyero rock painting is the only trip that will give you an understanding of the ethnic migration and ethnicity of Uganda and East Africa as a whole.
The hike to Nyero paintings is fascinating because you can see a lot of interesting features along the way and also learn a lot about the culture of the nearby communities. You can also see a lot of strange fascinating rock outcrops along the way; they harbor big monitor lizards and snakes so you have to be mindful while getting closer to them. Remember to tell you Ugandan tour operator to include Nyero rock painting visit to your itinerary. And also remember small things matter.