Department of history and development studies

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(OFFICE No. 42 )

Module Description:
This surveys the major economic and social developments in Zimbabwe’s pre-colonial history since the Early Iron Age. It examines the origins of early Shona states on the Zimbabwean plateau since the 10th century AD, and the socio-economic structure of the early and later Shona states. The latter part of the module discusses general changes on the Zimbabwean plateau in the first half of the 19th century brought about by Nguni conquests during the Mfecane and the encroachment of Europeans. It discusses the origins, socio-economic structure, politics and foreign policy of the Ndebele and Gaza-Nguni states. It also looks at the period of treaties and concessions with White settlers on the eve of occupation and conquest in the 1890s. The module ends with a discussion of BSA Company misrule of the Africans in the 1890s, as a background to the 1896-7 Ndebele and Shona risings.
Module Outline:

  1. Introduction

i. Sources of Zimbabwean History, Historiography of the pre-1890 period

ii. Environment and population in pre-colonial Zimbabwe

iii. Outline of settlement of the Zimbabwean plateau region to AD 900

iv. Economy and Society in the EIA and LIA.

  1. Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe

i. Mapungubwe – questions of viewpoint and evidence

ii. Great Zimbabwe – dating

iii. Economic origins of Great Zimbabwe

iv Social organization of Great Zimbabwe

v. The decline of gold production on the Zimbabwean plateau

vi The fall of Great Zimbabwe

  1. Mutapa and Torwa states

i. Archaeology, traditions and history

ii. Torwa to c. 1685

iii. Origins of the Mutapa state

iv. Political structure of the Mutapa state

v. Economic structure of the Mutapa state

vi. The coming of the Portuguese to 1590

vii. The conquest of the Mutapa state and Eastern Shona region

4. The Changamire State and the Rozvi

i. Origins of the Changamire dynasty

ii. Dombo Changamire and the expansion of the Rozvi state

iii. The conquest of the South-west

iv. The fall of the Changamire Rozvi state
5. The later Mutapa state and the Prazos da Coroa

i. Mutapa historiography

ii. Mutapa succession

iii. The sequence of decline

iv. Definition and nature of the prazos

v. Expansion and periodization of the prazos

  1. The Mfecane states to the 1870s

i. Background to the Nguni conquests

ii. The Ndebele state to the 1870s – external policies.

iii. Structure of the Ndebele state

iv. The Gaza Nguni state

  1. Treaties and Partition, 1870-91

i. Crisis in the Ndebele state, 1868-78

ii. Treaties and Concessions, 1868-1886, Grobler, Moffatt, etc.

iii. Rhodes, Rudd and the Charter

iv. The BSAC and the Portuguese: Portuguese counter-moves

  1. Occupation and Conquest, 1891-1895

i. Occupation by the BSAC and the Manyika frontier

ii. BSAC-Ndebele relations, 1891-3

iii. The Anglo-Ndebele war, 1894

iv. The fall of the Gaza state, 1895

  1. Origins of the First Chimurenga, 1890-1896

i. Colonial rule and the Shona, 1890-1894

ii. Colonial rule and the Ndebele, 1894-1896

iii. Colonial rule and the Shona, 1894-1896

  1. The First Chimurenga, 1896-1897

i. Events in the south-west, March-October 1896

ii. Events in the centre, June 1896-October 1897

iii. Consequences of the Chimurenga

iv. Conclusions: Overall view of resistance

Beach, D. N., The Shona and Zimbabwe 900-1850 (Mambo, Gweru, 1980)

Zimbabwe Before 1900, (Mambo, Gweru, 1984)

War and Politics in Zimbabwe 1840-1900 (Mambo, Gweru, 1986)

A Zimbabwean Past (Mambo, Gweru, 1994)

“ ‘Great Zimbabwe as a Mwari-cult centre’, Rhodesian Prehistory, 11, 1973.

“ ‘The Mutapa dynasty: a comparison of documentary and traditional sources’, History in Africa, 3, 1976.

“ ‘The Shona economy: brances of production’, in Palmer & Parsons, (eds.) The Roots of Rural Poverty in Central and Southern Africa (HEB, London, 1977)

“ ‘The Rozvi in search of their past’, History in Africa, 10, 1983.

“ ‘Oral history and archaeology in Zimbabwe’, Zimbabwean Prehistory, 19, 1983.

Bhebe, N. ‘Some aspects of Ndebele relations with the Shona’, Rhodesian History, 4, 1973.

“ ‘The Ndebele trade in the 19th century’, Journal of African Studies, 1, 1974.

“ ‘Ndebele politics during the scramble’, Mohlomi, 2, 1978.

Bhila, H. H. K. Trade and Politics in a Shona Kingdom, the Manyika and their Portuguese and African neighbours, 1575-1902 (Longman, 1982)

“ ‘Trade and the survival of an African polity: the external relations of Manyika from the 16th to the 19th centuries’, Rhodesian History, 3, 1972.

“ ‘Southern Zambezia from the 16th to the end of the 18th century’ UNESCO General History of Africa.

“ ‘Manyika’s relatioship with the Portuguese and the Gaza Nguni’ Rhodesian History., 9, 1978.

Cobbing, J. R. D. ‘The Ndebele state,’ in J. B. Peires, Before and After Shaka (ISER, Grahamstown, 1983)

“ ‘The evolution of the Ndebele amabutho,’ Journal of African History, xv, 4, 1974.

“ ‘The unknown fate of the Rudd Concession rifles,’ Rhodesian History, 4, 1972.

“ ‘Lobengula, Jameson and the occupation of Mashonaland,’ Rhodesian History, 4, 1973.

“ ‘The absent priesthood: another look at the Rhodesian risings of 1896-7,’ Journal of African History, xviii, 1, 1977.

Garlake, P. Great Zimbabwe described and explained (ZPH, Harare, 1982)

“ ‘Prehistory and ideology in Zimbabwe,’ Africa, iii, 3, 1982.

“ ‘Pastoralism and Zimbabwe,’ Journal of African History, xix, 4, 1978.

“ ‘Rhodesian ruins – a preliminary assessment of their styles and chronology,’ Journal of African History, xi, 4, 1970.

Hall, M. The Changing Past: Farmers, Kings and Traders in Southern Africa, 200-1860 (David Phillip, Cape Town, 1987)

Hall, M. & Vogel ‘Some recent radiocarbon dates from southern Africa,’ Journal of African History, xxi, 4, 1980.

Harries, P. ‘Slavery amongst the Gaza Nguni: its changing shape and function and it relationship to other forms of exploitation’ in Peires, Before and After Shaka, (IESR, Grahamstown, 1983)

Huffman, T. N. Symbols in Stone (Witwatersrand University Press, Johhanesburg, 1987)

Snakes and Crocodiles: Power and Symbolism in Ancient Zimbabwe (Witwatersrand University Press, Johannesburg, 1996)

“ ‘Leopards Kopje and the nature of the Iron Age in Bantu Africa,’ Zimbabwea, 1, 1984.

“ ‘The Chronology of Great Zimbabwe,’ South African Archaeological Bulletin, 1991.

“ ‘Archaeology and ethnohistory of the African Iron Age,’ Annual Review of Anthropology, 11, 1982.

“ ‘Snakes, birds and expressive space at Great Zimbabwe,’ African Studies, 40, 1981.

“ ‘Zimbabwe: southern Africas first town,’ Rhodesian Prehistory, 15, 1977.

“ ‘The rise and fall of Zimbabwe,’ Journal of African History, xiii, 3, 1972.

“ ‘The origins of Leopards Kopje: an 11th century Difaqane,’ Arnoldia, viii, 23, 1978.

Isaacman, A. F., Mozambique: the Africanization of a European institution: the Zambezi prazos, 1750-1902 (University of Wisconsin, Madison, 1972)

Liesegang, G. J. ‘Nguni migrations between Delagoa Bay and the Zambezi, 1821-1839,’ African Historical Studies, iii, 3, 1970.

“ ‘Aspects of Gaza Nguni history,’ Rhodesian History, 6, 1975.

“ ‘Notes on the internal structure of the Gaza kingdom of southern Mozambique, 1840-1895,’ in Peires, Before and After Shaka.

Mackenzie, J. M. ‘A pre-colonial industry: the Njanja and the iron trade,’ NADA, xi, 2, 1975.

“ ‘Red soils of Mashonaland: a reassessment: contrary evidence,’ Rhodesian History, 6, 1975.

Matenga, E. The Soapstone Birds of Great Zimbabwe: Symbols of a Nation (APG, Harare, 1998)

Mudenge, S. I. G. A Political History of Munhumutapa c.1400-1902 (ZPH, Harare, 1988)

‘An identification of the Rozvi and its implications for the history of the Karanga,’ Rhodesian History, 5, 1974.

“ ‘The role of foreign trade in the Rozvi empire: a re-appraisal,’ Journal of African History, xv, 3, 1974.

“ ‘18th century Portuguese settlements on the Zambezi and the dating of the Rhodesian ruins: some reflections on the problem of ‘reference dating’, International Journal of African Historical Studies, x, 3, 1977.

Newitt, M. D. D. Portuguese settlements on the Zambezi (Longman, London, 1973)

“ ‘The early history of the Maravi,’ Journal of African History, xxiii, 2, 1982.

Ncube, G. T. ‘A History of Northwestern Zimbabwe, 1850 1950s: Comparative Change in Three Worlds’ (Unpublished Mphil. Thesis, University of Zimbabwe, 1995)

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Rasmussen, R. K. Migrant Kingdom: Mzilikazi’s Ndebele in South Africa (Rex Collings, London, 1978)

Rennie, J. K. ‘Ideology and state formation: political and communal ideology among the south-eastern Shona, 1500-1890’ in A. Salim (ed.) State Formation in East Africa (HEB, Nairobi, 1984)

Stocker, M. ‘The Rudd Concession,’ Zimbabwean History, 10, 1979.

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