MIDLANDS STATE UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY AND DEVELOPMENT STUDIES
HDS 121: ECONOMY AND SOCIETY IN ZIMBABWE TO 1890s.
LECTURER: G.T. NCUBE
(OFFICE No. 42 )
Module Description:
This surveys the major economic and social developments in Zimbabwe’s precolonial 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
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
Introduction
Sources of Zimbabwean History, Historiography of the pre-1890 period
Environment and population in pre-colonial Zimbabwe
Outline of settlement of the Zimbabwean plateau region to AD 900
Economy and Society in the EIA and LIA.
2
i.
ii.
iii.
iv
v.
vi
Mapungubwe and Great Zimbabwe
Mapungubwe – questions of viewpoint and evidence
Great Zimbabwe – dating
Economic origins of Great Zimbabwe
Social organization of Great Zimbabwe
The decline of gold production on the Zimbabwean plateau
The fall of Great Zimbabwe
3 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
1
4.
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
The Changamire State and the Rozvi
Origins of the Changamire dynasty
Dombo Changamire and the expansion of the Rozvi state
The conquest of the South-west
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
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
The Mfecane states to the 1870s
Background to the Nguni conquests
The Ndebele state to the 1870s – external policies.
Structure of the Ndebele state
The Gaza Nguni state
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
Treaties and Partition, 1870-91
Crisis in the Ndebele state, 1868-78
Treaties and Concessions, 1868-1886, Grobler, Moffatt, etc.
Rhodes, Rudd and the Charter
The BSAC and the Portuguese: Portuguese counter-moves
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
Occupation and Conquest, 1891-1895
Occupation by the BSAC and the Manyika frontier
BSAC-Ndebele relations, 1891-3
The Anglo-Ndebele war, 1894
The fall of the Gaza state, 1895
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
i.
ii.
iii.
iv.
The First Chimurenga, 1896-1897
Events in the south-west, March-October 1896
Events in the centre, June 1896-October 1897
Consequences of the Chimurenga
Conclusions: Overall view of resistance
READING LIST:
Beach, D. N.,
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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)
2
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Bhebe, N.
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Bhila, H. H. K.
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Cobbing, J. R. D.
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Garlake, P.
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Hall, M.
Hall, M. & Vogel
Harries, P.
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.
‘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.
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.
‘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.
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.
The Changing Past: Farmers, Kings and Traders in Southern
Africa, 200-1860 (David Phillip, Cape Town, 1987)
‘Some recent radiocarbon dates from southern Africa,’ Journal
of African History, xxi, 4, 1980.
‘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)
3
Huffman, T. N.
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Isaacman, A. F.,
Liesegang, G. J.
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Mackenzie, J. M.
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Matenga, E.
Mudenge, S. I. G.
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Newitt, M. D. D.
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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.
Mozambique: the Africanization of a European institution: the
Zambezi prazos, 1750-1902 (University of Wisconsin,
Madison, 1972)
‘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.
‘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.
The Soapstone Birds of Great Zimbabwe: Symbols of a Nation
(APG, Harare, 1998)
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.
Portuguese settlements on the Zambezi (Longman, London,
1973)
‘The early history of the Maravi,’ Journal of African History,
xxiii, 2, 1982.
4
Ncube, G. T.
Philì¥Á 7
‘A History of Northwestern Zimbabwe, 1850 1950s:
Comparative Change in Three Worlds’ (Unpublished Mphil.
Thesis, University of Zimbabwe, 1995)
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Rhodesia 1896-7 (HEB,
London, 1979)
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.
7
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department of history and development studies