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Mudenge, Stanislaus Isack (1972) The Rozvi Empire and the Feira of Zumbo. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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In the seventeenth century the activities of Portuguese nationals on the Rhodesian plateau led to intense resentment by the Karanga. Between 1684 and 1695 some Karanga clans, led by a man known to us as Dombo I, expelled the Portuguese from the plateau. The clans that supported Dombo's wars against the Portuguese were later known as Varozvi. This apparently is the origin of the Rozvi as a distinct group from the rest of the Karanga. After expelling the Portuguese, the Rozvi established a powerful empire. The greater part of the power wielded by Rozvi emperors came from within the empire. Although the emperors benefited much from their trade with the Portuguese, there is little evidence to support a suggestion that the wealth acquired thus constituted so crucial a basis for their power that they sought a monopoly of foreign trade. The reality of Rozvi power emerges forcefully from a study of their relations with the Portuguese settlement of Zumbo. During the eighteenth century, the Rozvi armies used to protect Zumbo in moments of crisis. Through this connection Zumbo became economically one of the chief trading settlements on the Zambezi. This meant that any major upheavals within the Rosvi empire had serious repercussions at Zumbo. Zumbo apparently did not have a similar impact on the Rozvi empire. The emperors needed Zumbo only as an alternative to the Feira of Manyika. They restricted Portuguese influence by forbidding them from entering their empire. In trade dealings with the Rozvi subjects, the Portuguese used African agents. In the end it was first internal factors and later the Nguni invasions that led to the collapse of the Rozvi empire. Yet the eventual abandonment of Zumbo was closely connected with the fall of the Rozvi empire.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2018 15:00

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