The Moon as Shoe

The Moon as Shoe

Drawings of the San

This is a comprehensive collection of vibrant watercolors and sketches created by the San people, the oldest indigenous people in southern Africa.


  • Out of Print


Title Information

Drawings and Watercolours by Diä!kwain, /Han≠kass’o, !Nanni, Tamme, !Uma und Da. Edited by Miklós Szalay

1st edition

, 2002

Text English and German


312 pages, 275 color and 70 b/w illustrations

20.5 x 27 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-138-7


The San people have lived for thousands of years on the harsh plains of Kalahari Desert in southern Africa and are the oldest indigenous people of the region. At the end of the 19th century, philologists Wilhelm Bleek (1827–75) and Lucy Lloyd (1834–1914) traveled to southern Africa to document the San’s language and culture as seen through their drawings. In The Moon as Shoe, the drawings of the San come together in a striking visual essay of San history and culture.
Primarily created by six San men interviewed by Bleek and Lloyd, the diverse array of colorful watercolors and sketches collected here depict the surrounding plants and animals, people, and topographical details, as well as the daily activities of the San. Supplementing the brilliant image reproductions are expert essays by distinguished contributors such as Miklós Szalay, Megan Biesele, and Elias Canetti. The volume also features additional contemporary works by Ivory Coast artist Frédéric Bruly Bouabre and South African artist Keith Dietrich. A wholly original and compelling collection of indigenous art, The Moon as Shoe is essential for all collectors and scholars of African art.

Authors & Editors

Megan Biesele

Frédéric Bruly Bouabré

Elias Canetti

Janette Deacon

Keith Dietrich

Mathias Guenther

Roger L. Hewitt

Miklós Szalay