This study combines detailed observations of the behaviour of swifts (family Apodidae) with the ethnography of southern African hunter-gatherers in order to investigate the symbolism of a painted motif of therianthropes (images that combine characteristics of human and non-human animal species) referred to here as 'swift-people'. The standardized appearance and widespread distribution of this motif presents a remarkable opportunity to investigate prehistoric hunter-gatherer beliefs in this part of the country. It appears that the painters created a unique class of being by linking the behaviour of swifts to hunter-gatherer rituals and practices.
The Goodwin Series volumes are companions to the South African Archaeological Bulletin and are distributed to members of the South African Archaeological Society and the Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists. The series began in 1972 in honour of the late Professor A J H Goodwin, the founder of the South African Archaeological Society and the first professional archaeologist in South Africa. Each of the nine issues published between 1972 and 2006 has a theme relating to the study of archaeology in sub-Saharan Africa, ranging from Quaternary Studies to Rock Art and Historical Archaeology. Individual issues are published at irregular intervals according to the availability of funds and interest expressed by prospective guest editors. All papers are peer-reviewed.
From 1972 to 2005, the Goodwin Series was published by the South African Archaeological Society, a not-for-profit organization with a membership of between 900 and 1100 individuals and institutions worldwide. The Society operates from Cape Town. From mid-2005, the Association of Southern African Professional Archaeologists (ASAPA) was contracted to edit and produce the Society's academic publications for five years on behalf of the Society, which remains the owner. ASAPA is the professional association that represents the interests of archaeology and archaeologists throughout the SADC region (Angola, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe). The editors of the Goodwin Series can be contacted at email@example.com.