Zimbabwe

Maramuca: an exercise in the combined use of Portuguese records and oral tradition: the History of the Mwanamutapa Empire

Zimbabwe map

Written by D. P. Abraham Section I. INTRODUCTION: THE HISTORY OF THE MWANAMUTAPA EMPIRE At the start of the fifteenth century A.D. a group of patrilineal Bantu clans, collectively known as the Vakaranga, occupied in strength the south and south-west of what is now Southern Rhodesia. The population was mainly composed of small-scale peasant cultivators and cattle-breeders, who lived in ...

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Seventeenth Century Portuguese Earthworks in Rhodesia: Maramuca (Hartley/Chegutu)

Standing on the ancient workings looking towards the feira site

Written by P. S. Garlake Historical Monuments Commission, Rhodesia INTRODUCTION Two sites, one in the Mtoko (Mutoko) district containing two separate rectangular earthworks and the other in the Hartley (Chegutu) district with a single very similar earthwork have recently been identified and excavated. The excavations were on a very small scale intended primarily to provide, as far as possible, a ...

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Maramuca: Portuguese Settlement, Market (Feira) in Zimbabwe

Standing on the ancient workings looking towards the feira site

Written by Chris Dunbar. All pictures are copyright by Chris Dunbar. Maramuca, 2010: The trip to Maramuca was via the town of Chegutu and then another 30 odd kilometres on an old strip road to the gold mining town of Chakari. From Chakari we had to travel on a dirt road which later turned into a dirt track. The location ...

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Great Zimbabwe: a ruined city in the southeastern hills of Zimbabwe

Great Zimbabwe. Author and Copyright Chris Dunbar

Written by Marco Ramerini. Photos copyright by Chris Dunbar. Great Zimbabwe was the capital of the Kingdom of Zimbabwe where was the royal palace and the seat of the political power. The city was surrounded by massive walls that reach 5 meters in height which were constructed without mortar. The area where is Great Zimbabwe was occupied from the fourth century ...

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Portuguese Forts, Markets (Feira) and Settlements in Zimbabwe

Native sections of the walls that have survived. Luanze, Zimbabwe. Author and Copyright Chris Dunbar

Written by Chris Dunbar The following is a list of sites that were investigated by the Rhodesian / Zimbabwean Government, no suspected Portuguese sites have been restored (unfortunately) and no more have been added since the first cataloguing was done in the early 1970’s. A number of the historical trading centres and forts have still not been located and further ...

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Massapa: Portuguese Settlement, Market (Feira) and Fort in Zimbabwe

View from Pre refuge dry stone walled fort which ruled over Massapa

Written by Chris Dunbar. All pictures are copyright by Chris Dunbar. Massapa was described in 1573 as being close to the wooded mountain Fura (Mt Darwin) had a Dominican Church dedicated to the Lady of the Rosary and was deserted in 1693 when the Rozvi went on the rampage that ended the Portuguese control on the whole Northern Zimbabwe plateau ...

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Piringani: Portuguese Settlement, Market (Feira) in Zimbabwe

The trees are still successfully bearing a number of fruit, Piringani, Zimbabwe. Photo © by Chris Dunbar

Written by Chris Dunbar. All pictures are copyright by Chris Dunbar. So to Piringani (Piringani: 16°59′ 48.63″S 30°11′ 27.97″E), in the north west of Zimbabwe, in the farm lands of Doma, I went. Rumour had it that there was a Lemon forest and that it was marked and known by the local farmers and the Department of National Monuments. I ...

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Ruanga: a native settlement in Zimbabwe

Ruanga Ruins. Ruanga, Zimbabwe. Photo © by Chris Dunbar

Written by Chris Dunbar. All pictures are copyright by Chris Dunbar. Ruanga, 2012: Some pictures from Ruanga a settlement that was excavated in the 1960’s and it was found to have been inhabited in the 1500’s to the end of the 1650’s. Native black africans, but what is interesting is that perhaps, according to Hugh Tracey assumption, Antonio Fernades visited ...

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Old Portuguese Ruins in Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)

The trade grounds today. Luanze, Zimbabwe. Author and Copyright Chris Dunbar

Written by Manuel Simoes Alberto (of the “Sociedade de Estudes de Mozambique”) It was made known recently by the “Rhodesia Herald” , of Salisbury, that the ruins of an old Portuguese Fort, located on the banks of the Angwa river, had been declared a National Monument, and placed under the control of the “Natural and Historical Monuments and Relics Commission” ...

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Makaha: Portuguese Settlement, Market (Feira) in Zimbabwe

Ruins of the early settlers house Makaha, Zimbabwe. Photo © by Chris Dunbar.

Written by Chris Dunbar. All pictures are copyright by Chris Dunbar. The trip to find the site of Makaha was via the town of Mutoko and then on a dirt road for 90 minutes into the growth point of Makaha. Once we left the growth point we had to resort to four wheel driving as the road turned to a ...

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