The Mutapa State Essay

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Mutapa state

Origins

Around 1425, Mutota, king of the Shona, embarked on conquest of the inland plateau, the region located between the Zambezi River and the Limpopo River, to the coast of Mozambique.
Matope, son of Mutota completed the conquest and expansion started by his father. The empire was the most powerful political entity in the region for most of the 1470s. In 1480, Matope died, hurling the empire into a power struggle, with factions seeking to split from the empire. Dombo or Changa, a noble was able to split away from the empire to the south and founded a separate Shona kingdom, the Rozwi Kingdom.
The Kingdom of Mutapa, sometimes referred to as the Mutapa Empire (Shona: Wene we Mutapa; Portuguese: Monomotapa) was a Shona kingdom which stretched between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers of southern Africa in the modern states of Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Its founders are probably culturally and politically related to the builders who constructed Great Zimbabwe.


Portuguese and Rozwi Empire

During the sixteenth century, the Portuguese arrived seeking gold, setting up trading stations. They tried to gain political control of Mutapa territory by siding with the various dynastic clans and forging alliance with rival kingdoms, like the Maravi. By 1628, the strategy worked. In 1628, Mavura a Portuguese puppet was placed on the throne. Mavura signed treaties giving away all mineral rights to the Portuguese. Overtime, the Portuguese was able to undermine and destroy the monomotapan system. The Portuguese then tried to use the populace to mine gold. The populace fled their villages, seeking protection from more powerful and wealthy strongmen, who had strong private armies. Much violence marked the Mutapan Kingdom, with private armies of the wealthy, raiding, resisting the Portuguese, and protecting cattle. Between 1684 through 1696, the Mutapa Kingdom was absorbed into the Rozwi Empire, which had become the dominant empire in the region. The Mutapa...

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