Learn How To Spot Fake Indigenous Rock Art

We’ve all seen those “authentic” Indigenous rock art pieces at art festivals and markets. But how can you tell if they’re real or fake? Here are some tips to help you spot the fake Indigenous rock art:

  • Poor craftsmanship: Fake Indigenous rock art is often poorly made, with crude painting or carving.
  • Inappropriate subject matter: Real Indigenous rock art depicts animals, people, and stories from our culture. Fake Indigenous rock art may depict things that are not part of our culture, such as Western symbols or logos.
  • Incorrect use of materials: real Indigenous rock art is usually made with natural materials such as stone, wood, or bone. Fake Indigenous rock art is often made with modern materials such as concrete or plastic.
  • Size and location: real Indigenous rock art was created for particular reasons and was often located in specific places. Fake Indigenous rock art is often too small or too large, and is not located in a culturally significant place.

What is Indigenous Rock Art?

Indigenous rock art is created by Indigenous peoples and can be found in various locations around the world. This type of art is often created using natural materials such as stones, bones, and wood. It can also be created using man-made materials such as paint or metal.

Indigenous rock art can be used for a variety of purposes, including ceremonial, spiritual, or decorative. It is often found in caves or on cliffs, but it can also be found in other places such as open-air sites, waterfalls, and trees.

How to Spot Fake Indigenous Rock Art

When you’re looking at Indigenous rock art, it’s important to be able to spot the genuine article. Here are some tips to help you avoid being fooled by fakes:

1. Look for evidence of aging

If the artwork looks too new, it might be a fake. Genuine Indigenous rock art is often hundreds or even thousands of years old, so it should show signs of wear and tear.

2. Check the materials used

Indigenous artists typically used natural materials like ochre, charcoal and stone tools to create their art. If the materials look synthetic or out of place, it’s likely that the artwork is a fake.

3. Look for signs of authenticity

Authentic Indigenous rock art will often be signed or stamped with the artist’s clan marking or another identifying symbol. If there’s no such evidence, proceed with caution.

4. Ask for an expert opinion

If you’re still not sure whether a piece of Indigenous rock art is real or fake, it’s always best to get a second opinion from an expert in the field.

The Difference Between Fake and Authentic Indigenous Rock Art

When it comes to Indigenous rock art, there are a few things you need to look for in order to be able to tell the difference between fake and authentic Indigenous art.

One of the first things you should look at is the style of the art. Authentic Indigenous rock art is usually created in one of three styles: petroglyphs, which are carvings made into the rock; pictographs, which are paintings done on the rock; or geoglyphs, which are large designs that have been created by arranging rocks on the ground.

Another thing to look for is the age of the art. Most authentic Indigenous rock art is thousands of years old, so if you come across something that looks relatively new, it’s likely a fake.

Finally, take a close look at the materials that were used to create the art. Authentic Indigenous rock art is usually made with natural materials like ochre (a type of clay), charcoal, or hematite (an iron ore). If the materials look like they could have come from a modern artist’s studio (for example, if the paint is brightly colored or seems to be made from acrylic), it’s probably a fake.

Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be able to spot fake Indigenous rock art from a mile away!

How to Preserve Indigenous Rock Art

“It is crucial that we protect and preserve our Indigenous rock art for future generations. This type of art is a significant part of our history and cultural identity.

There are a few things you can do to help preserve Indigenous rock art:

  • Do not touch the art. The oils from your skin can damage the rock.
  • Do not climb on the rock or move it in any way.
  • Do not take rubbings or make copies of the art without permission from the traditional owners.
  • Do not use cleaning products or solvents near the rock, as they can damage the surface.”


If you’re interested in seeing some real, Indigenous-created rock art, your best bet is to visit a National Park or other protected area where there is a known history of such art. You can also look for books and websites that are devoted to the topic, which will often include tips on how to spot fake Indigenous rock art. In general, though, remember that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is—so be sure to do your research before you buy or view any rock art!