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It is part of a worldwide genre of prehistoric art, which includes the cave paintings of Spain and France as well as the rock art of Scandinavia, Finland, northeast Asia and Siberia.No foolproof method for the precise dating of rock art has been discovered, other than speculative association with stratified, relatively datable archaeological remains.

While the tradition of rock art was no doubt brought into Canada by its earliest occupants during the last ICE AGE, it is most unlikely that examples of great antiquity will ever be found.

Rock art in much of Canada is linked with the search for helping spirits and with shamanism - a widespread religious tradition in which the SHAMAN's major tasks are healing and prophesy, along with the vision quest.

Although the majority of the images were traced with the finger, some could be executed with brushes made of animal or vegetal fibres.

Petroglyphs are carvings that are incised, abraded or ground by means of stone tools upon cliff walls, boulders and flat bedrock surfaces.

Several broad regions of rock art "style areas" have been distinguished, including the Maritimes, the Canadian Shield, the Prairies, British Columbia and the Arctic.

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The Maritime provinces count many rock art sites that are usually attributed to the Mi'kmaq (MICMAC).

For instance, the battle between Thunderbird and the Horned Snake is often depicted as the bird killing the reptile with lightning, which is materialized in the composition by a seam of quartz.

Other iconographic themes also appear regularly: a figure with horns or rabbit ears accompanied by a wolf probably represents NANABOZO and his brother Wolf; and a snake or Mishipeshu under a canoe shows the danger of those fantastic beings, which tip canoes and drown their passengers.

Rock art is generally divided in two categories: carving sites (petroglyphs) and paintings sites (pictographs).

Pictographs are paintings that were made by applying red ochre or, less commonly, black, white or yellow dye.

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