ABOUT THIS BOOK
Recent decades have seen an upsurge in visitation to rock art sites as well as an increase in commercial reproduction of rock art and attempts to understand the meaning and function of that art within the indigenous cultures that produced it. What motivates this growing interest and what do these interpretations and appropriations of Native American petroglyphs and pictographs reveal about contemporary cultural dynamics? Focusing on the southwestern U.S., this book critically examines the contemporary implications of the interpretation, appropriation, commodification, and management of indigenous rock art.
Neither archaeological interpretations nor commercial reproductions of rock art operate in a cultural vacuum. Both the motivation to seek out rock art and the specific meanings attached to it are deeply embedded in narratives about Native Americans already created by anthropologists, archaeologists, photographers, novelists, film and television producers, the tourism industry, and New Age discourse. For those interested in rock art as a window into indigenous cultures of the past, our contemporary projections of meanings are of great concern. Applying the tools of critical/cultural studies to both academic and popular discourse, Rogers explores the implications of such projections for rock art studies, contemporary gender dynamics, and the neocolonial relationship between Euro-Americans and Native Americans.