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Rozvi State Notes Essay

  • Submitted by: allenkeezy
  • on August 17, 2015
  • Category: History
  • Length: 3,880 words

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Below is an essay on "Rozvi State Notes" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Historiography Of The Rozvi.
The history of the Rozvi has been for a long time shrouded by myth. Beach maintains that few groups in Africa have been inflated beyond their real strength as the Rozvi. Portuguese writers are partly responsible for this myth-making. Dombo Changamire’s successes against the Portuguese in the 1690s when he drove them from the feiras of Dambarare and Manyika, coupled with his victories against Maungwe in 1684, the Mutapa in 1693 and 1702, and Manyika in 1695, so impressed the Portuguese that they developed a profound fear of him to the extent that they claimed that he used magic. Although in the 17th century the Portuguese had viewed Dombo Changamire and his Rozvi followers as their ‘fatal’ enemy, in the 18th century their view of the Changamire Rozvi state changed due to the need to cooperate in trade. The Portuguese came to look upon Changamire as their ally against other rivals and on three occasions in the 18th century (1743, 1772, 1781) Rozvi armies came to the aid of the Portuguese at Zumbo. Portuguese sources of the 18th century were thus basically friendly in their descriptions/view of the Changamire state. They described it as powerful, with its power based on the control of the large cattle herds and mines of the southwest of Zimbabwe. They considered Changamire as the overlord of all the Shona.

English-speaking travelers and missionaries who entered the Ndebele state from the south from the 1850s onwards were the next group of European writers to describe the Changamire state, but they were now recording oral traditions after the fall of the state, and were not aware of the existence of Portuguese sources. Most of the accounts they collected were now layered with myths relating to the power of the Changamire state, the nature of Rozvi influence, and the causes of the state’s fall. Not long after the fall of the state, Carl Mauch was already collecting oral traditions in 1872 that were linking the Rozvi with the fall of...

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