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There are three forms of this; the first involves covering the hand in wet paint and then applying it to the rock.The second involves a design being painted onto the hand, which is then in turn added to the surface.Red paint is usually attained through the use of ground ochre, while black paint is typically composed of charcoal, or sometimes from minerals such as manganese.White paint is usually created from natural chalk, kaolinite clay or diatomaceous earth.In some societies, the paint itself has symbolic and religious meaning; for instance, among hunter-gatherer groups in California, paint was only allowed to be traded by the group shamans, while in other parts of North America, the word for "paint" was the same as the word for "supernatural spirit".One unusual form of pictograph, found in many, although not all rock-art producing cultures, is the hand print.In archaeology, rock art is human-made markings placed on natural stone; it is largely synonymous with parietal art.

The resulting image is a negative print of the hand, and is sometimes described as a "stencil" in Australian archaeology.Normally found in literate cultures, a rock relief or rock-cut relief is a relief sculpture carved on solid or "living rock" such as a cliff, rather than a detached piece of stone.They are a category of rock art, and sometimes found in conjunction with rock-cut architecture.Most have figures that are over life-size, and in many the figures are multiples of life-size.Stylistically they normally relate to other types of sculpture from the culture and period concerned, and except for Hittite and Persian examples they are generally discussed as part of that wider subject.

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