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Social And Political Responses To Colonialism On The Margins: Community, Chieftaincy And Ethnicity In Bulilima-Mangwe, Zimbabwe, 1890–1930

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Chapter Summary

With a few exceptions, scholarship on African responses to colonialism in colonial Zimbabwe have largely been confined to initial primary resistance evident in the 1893 and 1896-1897 wars against the British South African Company (BSAC) which established its authority in Mashonaland in 1890. This chapter focuses on the Kalanga people who inhabit the southwestern part of Zimbabwe, a people whose communities cover the greater parts of the Botswana-Zimbabwe borderlands. The chapter argues that Kalanga chieftaincy politics and the revival of Kalanga ethnic consciousness, themselves two connected issues, were not top-down processes, constructed and/or reinforced by the state, but that they were developments indigenous to the African communities which sought to renegotiate their positions in the aftermath of the fall of the Ndebele state. In 1895, Bulilima-Mangwe Africans alone received no fewer than 11,450 cattle, the highest allocation in Matabeleland.

Keywords: British South African Company (BSAC); Bulilima-Mangwe; colonial Zimbabwe (1890-1930); Kalanga chieftaincy; Kalanga ethnicity; Matabeleland; Ndebele state



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