A Study of Rock Paintings in Bauchi and Jigawa States.


Globally, rock paintings are age-long art forms that have revealed the activities of early humans in the respective sites. This is similar to the rock paintings in Bauchi and Jigawa States of Nigeria.

The Study of Rock Paintings in Bauchi and Jigawa States is carried out to Identify the imageries that constitute the rock paintings in Bauchi and Jigawa states,

investigate specific similarities and differences that exist between the rock paintings of Bauchi and the Jigawa States, examine the socio-cultural functions of the paintings and engravings, see the paintings and engravings in Bauchi and Jigawa states and document same.

All the rock paintings that were identified in the selected areas were discussed and analyzed and subsequently documented. In the course of the study also, it was discovered that there were similarities and differences in the imageries, styles, and colors used in executing the rock paintings.

Again, the study revealed that the rock paintings in Bauchi and Jigawa States served various functions such as magical, religious, and ceremonial purposes.

At present, the dwellers no longer participate in ceremonies that are linked to the rock paintings due to their current faith. It was confirmed that these rock paintings actually exist and the sites are good for tourism activities. The tourism sector should integrate the same in their program to help boost tourism in Nigeria.

Most of the rock paintings are badly defaced either by human activities or bad weather, while some of the rock paintings sites are not fenced, and some, have no tour guides. Hence, the researcher recommends that the Nigerian Government and non-governmental organizations should sponsor researchers to work more in-depth in the area of rock paintings in Nigeria.

Also, they should put in place, measures that will protect the fast deterioration of Rock Paintings in Bauchi and Jigawa States. Walls or fences should be built in all the rock painting sites. All roads leading to the rock paintings should be reconstructed, tarred and guides/workers be appointed on all the rock painting sites.


The early humans used trees, river sites, and caves as a shelter at the early stages of life. These sides became media for the depiction of their daily activities. The early humans artistically depicted on the walls of caves their hunting expedition, intentions of games, and rituals that served as a form of prayer for their daily activities.

The evidence of such is found around the world with paintings and engravings super-imposed on one another in various caves as described by Gardner (1959) and Stokstad (2008).

Such discoveries are found in; Altamira in Northern Spain, Lascaux in France, Ahaggar in Algeria, Kalahari rocks in Botswana/Namibia, the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, and Drakensberg mountains in South Africa.

The artworks showed a variety of themes, techniques, and media. This form of art was possibly done to satisfy a need, rather than, art for art’s sake.

According to Gardner (1959), art is defined as “selective communication of human experiences intangible forms, existing as matter in space.” These experiences are shown in the paintings of early humans. They painted animals they could see around them and the daily activities they were engaged in.

The urge to decorate one’s environment has been observed in the life of the early man as described by Stokstad (2008) that, the idea which says “human beings have an inherent desire to decorate themselves and their surroundings, which is an aesthetic wisdom, is somehow inborn to the human species.”

The early men have proven this, by executing his artworks on the walls of the caves where they dwelled in.

These dwellings of the early man have over the years been discovered with evidence of artistic activities. In Altamira, northern Spain, bison, bulls, horses, and other animals were painted on cave ceilings. Similarly, in Lascaux, France, the evidence of cave paintings showed various forms of animals.

These paintings are said to be done by Paleolithic artists, in about 13,000 B.C. colors red and yellow ochre was used to depict the paintings of a leaping cow and a group of horses shown smaller than the cow. The colors were either blown through reeds onto the wall or mixed with animal fat and applied with reeds or thistles.

In Austria and China, series of rock paintings have been discovered to show artistic brilliance even at that early stage of man. The works show various animals and body decorations (Gardner 1959, Jason 1977, and Stokstad 2008). As such, some writers believe that the prehistoric hunters painted these to gain magical powers that would ensure a successful hunt.

In Africa, a lot of rock paintings have been uncovered, especially in northern Africa, where animals such as elephants, bulls, hippopotamus, reindeer, horses, camels, and the likes, are found. Most of these animals were captured in the rock paintings found in Algeria, Tunisia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, and West Africa as well.

the works in Africa seem to be earlier than those found in Europe even in their discoveries, and those in West Africa seem to receive little attention from writers (Gombrich 1967, Leuzinger 1976, and Willett 1971).

It is, therefore, on this note that the study intends to identify the rock paintings of Bauchi and Jigawa states of Nigeria and make a comparative study of the same.


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