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A look at the rich history of zimbabwe

Shona, Ndebele Orientation Identification. Zimbabwe is named after Great Zimbabwe, the twelfth- to fifteenth-century stone-built capital of the Rozwi Shona dynasty. The name is thought to derive from dzimba dza mabwe "great stone houses" or dzimba waye "esteemed houses". Cultural and religious traditions among the Shona, Ndebele and smaller groups of Tonga, Shangaan and Venda have similarities in regard to marriage practices and the belief in supernatural ancestors.

All those groups called on the support of the spirit world in the struggle for independence, which was achieved in 1980. European culture and values indelibly shaped the urban and rural landscapes, particularly in terms of the use of space, and the structure and practice of government. Black Zimbabweans have assimilated more white Zimbabwean culture than vice versa. In these distinct cultures, which generally are referred to as African and European, the most obvious differences are economic.

While the white minority lost political power after Independence, it has retained a disproportionate share of economic resources.

Zimbabwe is in central southern Africa. Because of the impact of its colonial history on the nation's political, economic, and sociocultural life, it generally is identified more with southern Africa than with central Africa. A land-locked country of 242,700 square miles 390,580 square kilometers between the Zambezi River to the north and the Limpopo River to the south, it is bordered by Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Zambia.

Most of the country is a high to middle veld plateau with extensive areas of wooded savanna and a temperate climate; the low veld of the Limpopo and the Zambezi Valley is hotter and has less rain. On the Mozambique border, the only mountainous area, the Eastern Highlands, runs from Nyanga in the north to Chimanimani in the south. Rainfall is higher in the north of the Eastern Highlands and lower in the Zambezi Valley and the low veld.

The capital, Harare, is located in Mashonaland, which covers the eastern two-thirds of the country and is the area where most Shona-speaking people live. The second city, Bulawayo, is in Matabeleland in the west, where most Ndebele-speaking people live. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the population is estimated to have been about six hundred thousand.

The 1992 national census estimated it at over ten million, and with a growth rate of 3 percent, it is expected to be over twelve million in 2000. About 70 percent a look at the rich history of zimbabwe the population lives in rural areas, and Harare and Bulawayo account for most of the approximately 30 percent in urban areas.

The largest ethnic group is collectively known as the Shona and consists of the Manyika, Zezuru, Karanga, Korekore, Rozwi, and Ndau groups, which make up about seventy-six percent of the population.

Australia's rich history in Zimbabwe

The second largest ethnic group is the Ndebele, consisting of the Ndebele and Kalanga groups, which constitute about 18 percent. Mashonaland, where most of the Shona live, is a collective term for the eastern two-thirds of the country, and most Ndebele live in the western third of Matabeleland. Other ethnic groups, each constituting 1 percent of the population, are the Batonga in the Zambezi Valley, the Shangaan or Hlengwe in the low veld, and the Venda on the border with South Africa.

About 2 percent of the population is of non-African ethnic origin, mainly European and Asian. In the twentieth century, there were three major changes in the demographic and settlement Zimbabwe pattern. First, the acquisition of large tracts of land by white settlers for commercial agriculture, until shortly after World War II resulted in a situation in which half the land was owned by well under 1 percent of the population, with limited access to land for the vast majority of the rural population.

Second, in the colonial period, the development of industry in towns and cities, particularly Harare and Bulawayo, required men seeking work to live in urban areas, leaving women and children in a look at the rich history of zimbabwe rural areas. Although this gender imbalance in urban areas no longer exists, and there is more movement between urban a look at the rich history of zimbabwe rural areas, de facto women heads of household are still common in rural areas.

Most jobs continue to be found in urban areas and employment income rather than income from farming is the most important factor in the standard of living among smallholder families. The third major change has involved the age profile of the population. A sharp drop in mortality rates and longer life expectancy between 1960 and 1992 meant that almost sixty-three percent of the population sixteen to thirty-four years of age. The statistical impact of the AIDS epidemic on the population will not be clear until the next national census in 2002, but that disease is considered a major factor in higher maternal and infant mortality rates.

All the national languages, with the exception of the official language, English, are Bantu, a branch of the Niger-Congo language family. Shona and Sindebele are the most widely spoken, and students are required to take at least one of those languages.

The four main dialects of Shona—Zezuru, Kalanga, Manyika, and Ndau—have a common vocabulary and similar tonal and grammatical features. The Ndebele in the nineteenth century were the first to use the name "Shona" to refer to the peoples they conquered; although the exact meaning of the term is unclear, it was probably derogatory.

Later, white colonists extended the term to refer to all groups that spoke dialects officially recognized as Shona. One view of the dialects is that they resulted from differing missionary education policies in the nineteenth century. Sindebele is a click language of the Nguni group of Bantu languages; other members of this language group are Zulu and Xhosa, which are spoken mainly in South Africa; siSwati Swaziland ; and siTswana Botswana.

The national flag and the Zimbabwe bird the African fish eagle are the most important symbolic representations of the nation. The Zimbabwe bird is superimposed on the flag, and while the flag symbolizes independence, the Zimbabwe bird represents continuity with the precolonial past.

Internationally, particularly in the tourist sector, photographs of Victoria Falls, Great Zimbabwe, and wildlife are symbols of the national history and natural heritage. History and Ethnic Relations Emergence of the Nation. San Bushmen hunters are believed to have been the earliest inhabitants of the area that is now Zimbabwe. When Bantu-speaking peoples migrated from the north at the end of the second century, the San moved on or were absorbed rapidly into the farming and cattle-herding culture of the Bantu groups.

Little is known about those early Bantu groups, but the present-day Shona can be traced to a group that moved into the area around 1200 C. From the eleventh century, after commercial relations were established with Swahili traders on the Mozambique coast, until the fifteenth century, the Shona kingdom was one of southern Africa's wealthiest and most powerful societies. The city was constructed from granite, using highly developed stone-cutting and construction techniques.

Historians are unsure about the reasons for its decline in the fifteenth century, but the human and livestock population might have outstripped available resources. Until 1905, when archaeological research proved that Great Zimbabwe was of Bantu origin, and then until independence in 1980, colonial explanations of the city's origins failed to consider that it could be of Bantu origin.

Culture Name

The importance of Great Zimbabwe to the colonists, who referred to it as the Zimbabwe Ruins, was also the basis of its importance in the nationalist struggle for majority rule. Whereas the colonists denied its significance, the nationalist movement promoted it as sacred. According to Shona religion, the ancestors who built Great Zimbabwe still live there, and it therefore is a sacred site.

Today Great Zimbabwe is one of the most potent symbols of the nations, and the Zimbabwe bird on the flag depicts one of the excavated soapstone sculptures of the fish eagle found at the site. New dynasties followed the Rozvi of Great Zimbabwe, but the kingdom declined in importance. Although Swahili and later Portuguese traders tried to exploit internal differences in the kingdom, they a look at the rich history of zimbabwe succeeded.

The second significant encounter in the making of Zimbabwe was the Ndebele invasion of the early 1880s under the command of Mzlikazi, who established his capital at Inyati to the north of Bulawayo. He was succeeded by Lobengula, who shifted the capital to Bulawayo.

In 1888 Cecil John Rhodes tricked Lobengula into signing an agreement that opened the country to mining prospectors and other speculators. Rhodes then formed the British South Africa Company and organized the "Pioneer Column" and subsequently the first group of white settlers, who moved up from South Africa in search of gold and arable land.

After defeating the Ndebele in battle and appropriating land in Mashonaland, the colonists founded Rhodesia in 1895. The first Chimurenga war of liberation occurred in 1896, when the Ndebele were joined by the Shona.

The war was led by two spirit mediums, Nehanda and Kagubi, who were caught and executed and subsequently became powerful symbols in the second Chimurenga, which started in the mid-1960s. In 1923, the British South Africa Company handed the country over to the British Crown, and in 1930, the white minority passed the Land Apportionment Act, which barred blacks from legal access to the best land, simultaneously assuring a source of cheap labor.

Between 1946 and 1960, the white population increased from 82,000 to 223,000, and this period witnessed economic expansion, including the construction of the Kariba Dam. Organized resistance to white supremacy began in the 1920s, and in the absence of meaningful reform, radical active resistance started in the 1940s.

By the early 1960s the two groups that were to lead the country to independence, the Zimbabwe African People's Union and the Zimbabwe African National Union, had been established. When Great Britain demanded that Rhodesia guarantee racial equality and put in place a plan for majority rule or face economic sanctions, the government declared a Unilateral Declaration of Independence in 1965.

A guerrilla war followed that was characterized by political differences between resistance groups and among the white minority. It also was characterized by a close relationship between the guerrillas and spirit mediums.

Embodying the ancestors, the spirit mediums represented a common past, untainted by colonialism, that could be drawn on to shape and legitimize a new national identity. After the negotiation of a settlement at the Lancaster House Conference in 1979, the first multiparty general elections were held with complete adult suffrage in 1980.

Seven years later, that party and the Zimbabwe Africa People's Union merged. While there are minor political parties, Zimbabwe has effectively been a one-party state. The adoption of the name "Zimbabwe" and citizens' identity as Zimbabweans, functioned as a symbol of continuity with the past. The common struggle of all groups was instrumental in forming a sense of national identity.

Political tensions between the Ndebele and the Shona, a look at the rich history of zimbabwe culminated when the army suppressed dissidence in 1983 and 1984 in the Matabeleland Massacres, have been contained by the state.

The use of space therefore is closely correlated with socioeconomic status. High-density areas have been planned with water and power supplies. Little artistic emphasis has been placed on architecture, and with the exception of some well-maintained colonial buildings, especially in Harare and Bulawayo, buildings tend to be functional.

Mud and wattle or sun-dried bricks are used in house building in rural areas; well-off families may use concrete blocks. Traditionally, houses were round with thatch roofing, but an increasing number are square or rectangular with zinc sheet roofing, although kitchens are still built as roundavels round thatched mud huts.

Petina Gappah

The most marked use of space is in the kitchen, where a bench runs around the right side for men to sit on, while women sit on the floor on the left. Areas of higher rainfall and therefore higher agricultural potential attracted a large number of white settlers at the end of the nineteenth century.

  1. Those systems have had different effects on the physical environment, giving rise to controversy about the causes and effects of overgrazing and erosion and raising issues of equity with respect to access to land.
  2. Forty to fifty percent of Zimbabweans attend Christian churches. The Marriage Practices of the Shona of Zimbabwe.
  3. Britain agrees to provide funds to purchase the land of British farmers willing to sell, for a much-needed land distribution programme. By the end of the decade his two companies, De Beers Consolidated Mines and Gold Fields of South Africa, dominate the already immensely valuable South African export of diamonds and gold.
  4. Rhodesia has been a self-governing colony for three decades, but with no African suffrage a tiny 'B roll' of African voters is added to the electorate in 1957. The intended economic benefits materialize during the early years of the federation, helped by a world rise in copper prices, but this is not enough to stifle increasing political unrest - particularly as British colonies elsewhere in Africa win independence beginning with Ghana in 1957.
  5. The Marriage Practices of the Shona of Zimbabwe. Shona sculpture is internationally acclaimed and exhibited.

That group appropriated land and established a self-governing colonial state and two systems of land use; one for smallholding subsistence farming and one for large-scale commercial production and speculation.

Those systems have had different effects on the physical environment, giving rise to controversy about the causes and effects of overgrazing and erosion and raising issues of equity with respect to access to land.

Population density is low in the commercial farming areas and relatively high in the smallholder areas and communal areas. Smallholdings are scattered because people prefer to have some bush between themselves and their neighbors.

The term "village" is used to refer to an administrative area and does not imply the presence of a number of houses in a small area.

  1. Lobengula is the son of Mzilikazi , the leader of the Ndebele who established a new kingdom in present-day Zimbabwe after being driven north by the Boers in 1837. The basic unit of currency is the Zimbabwe dollar.
  2. African Laughter , 1992. Farming Livelihoods in Dryland Africa.
  3. Socialising Children through the Zimbabwean School System. The Political Economy of Poverty in Zimbabwe , 1996.
  4. The nurturing and socialization of infants are the responsibility of mothers and, in their temporary absence for example, when they are working , a female relative. In polygynous families, each wife has her own house and a share of a field.
  5. They now form the Ndebele or Matebele, Zimbabwe's second largest community.

Another important influence on land use and the physical environment was the designation of protected areas as national parks or safari areas, covering about 13 percent of the land area.

These areas are important to tourism and the national economy.

Zimbabwe's Culture is Both Rich and Diverse

Food and Economy Food in Daily Life. The major grain for consumption is maize, although in parts of the Zambezi Valley millet and sorghum are the principle grains. After grinding, the flour is cooked into a thick porridge that is eaten with green vegetables or meat. A wide range of green vegetables are grown in kitchen gardens and collected wild. They generally are prepared with onion and tomato and sometimes with groundnut peanut sauce. Bread is a staple in the urban diet but not as important in rural areas.

Foods that are eaten seasonally include milk, boiled or roasted groundnuts, boiled or roasted maize, fruits, termites, and caterpillars.