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 Social, Economic and Political Organization of African societies upto 19th C

Political organization of the Shona Empire.

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Answer Text:
-The Shona were a Bantu-speaking people who comprised the Rozwi, Kore kore, Zezuru and Manyika sub-groups.
-The first stone buildings in Zimbabwe are believed to have been the work of the Shona.
Political organization of the Shona Empire.
-The emperor was the head of the state and government. Succession of authority was hereditary.
Important emperors included Chikura, Nyatsimba, Mutota and Matope.
-Religion played a role in government and united people. The emperor was a semi-divine religious leader, a military leader and the chief priest.
- He was the only one who could communicate with the spirits of the ancestors.
-It was believed that when Mwene Mutapa died, he became a Mudzimu and automatically qualified to be worshipped as a national ancestral spirit.
-The ancestral spirits (Vadzimu) communicated people’s problems to god.
-The empire was divided into provinces namely Guruhaswa, Mbire, Utere, Banua, and Manyika each headed by a lesser chief. The most important chiefs in the empire sent their sons, with tribute in form of cattle, gold, slaves and ivory, each year to pay homage to the Mwene Mutapa as goodwill ambassadors
-There was a standing army of warriors which was used for defense and expansion of the kingdom.
-Revenue from trade was used to run the army and sustain the empire.
-The position of importance held by Mwene Mutapa led to the creation of a complex Style of administration around him.
-The government officials included the court steward, treasurer, commander-in-chief of the army and Mbokurumme (king’s sister-in-law). Others were the queen mother, the emperor’s sister and nine principal wives, the doorkeeper and the chief cook and head drummer.