Rock paintings sites in Mfangano Island

Mfangano Island is known for its ancient rock art, possibly 2,000 years old and thought to have been created by early forager-hunters, the Twa people.

The Twa people, also known as Batwa or pygmies, have been described as the forgotten tribe who live in the Great Lakes region of Africa.

Three sites on Mfangano Island have legends attached to them; one or even two of the sites are still in use. The art in the sites comprises almost solely of sets of concentric circles in two or all three of the colours red, white and black.

The paintings are typical of what is sometimes termed “Twa” art that stretches from northern Kenya in a broadening trail southwards to spread across Africa from Northern Mozambique to Angola, and to cease north of the Zambezi River.