Kingdom of Mutapa

The Kingdom of Mutapa is one that is not often heard of. Zimbabwe kingdoms are not written about as much in our history books. Instead we learn about the civil war, and french revolution numerous times over the length of our schooling. Unknowingly to us the Kingdoms of Zimbabwe are each as fantastical as the stories we hear of the Europeans. Their biggest difference: there kingdoms lie in a different country. Just the same they rose, flourished economically and took advantage of their resources to help their people rise, and fell.

The Kingdom of Mutapa or any kingdom of Zimbabwe holds a captivating history. This Kingdom was founded in 1425, succeeding the kingdom of the Great Zimbabwe. This kingdom was founded by a royal member from its successor. It stretched from Zimbabwe to the Mozambique coast.The kingdom was of Karanga speaking majority. Like its predecessor the Kingdom made its mark and living off of the trade network.

The Portuguese began settling and setting up trading posts in Zimbabwe in the sixteenth century. They came looking for gold. Zimbabwe was a plentiful source and allowed them to take advantage of the country. The Kingdom of Mutapa is similar to that of the Great Zimbabwe. The Great Zimbabwe is great because of its size. They were a flourishing kingdom who made their living economically. Trading gold with the portuguese helped them become a great and plentiful kingdom. Like Great Zimbabwe the Kingdom of Mutapa traded gold, ivory, and mined iron. The Kingdom of Mutapa was able to rely on trading posts to help their economy and ruled with a type of feudal system. The empire was ruled at capital, provincial, and village levels. They continued their traditional structures made out of stone. The land is continually marked with these magnificent structures today.

All empires no matter how great must all end. This is a repetitive point in history we have made sure to remember. Nothing lasts forever so we must do as much as possible in the time e do have. The Kingdom of Mutapa, however similar to that of Great Zimbabwe, is unique. They built their own empire from the ground up. When turmoil threatened their lives they made themselves stronger. Unfortunately the Portuguese was no match with their soldiers outnumbering the native populations and their advanced weapons. Just like the spanish in America, their greed for gold grew too strong and the Kingdom of Mutapa crumbled in this wake in 1760. The Shona people who lived in this kingdom moved forward just as they have once before and continue to this day to live on.

One thought on “Kingdom of Mutapa

  1. Like you said I have never really learned much about Zimbabwe Kingdoms before this class. I believe I heard about them briefly because my friend went on a mission trip to Zambia and she was learning about African history. However, what I do find interesting is the fact that all wars, no matter where they are in the world, start off because no one is satisfied until they have taken things from people around them. The Portuguese were not satisfied by simply exploring these people’s culture or taking small amounts of gold, they needed to loot the lands of all the gold the people had. In addition, even the native people were rarely happy with what they had. They constantly wanted to expand and conquer the land and the peoples around them. Yes, this desire lead to amazing expansion of the Zimbabwe Kingdom but it also would ultimately lead to the demise of the kingdom.
    In addition, I found you information about how the Kingdom of Mutapa was built from the ground up and used the resources around them to expand and provide for the people who lived there. I wish that more of these great kingdoms could have survived people like the Portuguese, but eventually they would have fallen due to some other country coming and trying to take what was rightfully theirs. I think this constant conquering and war is what lead to the end of large, dominating kingdoms in countries like Africa. I also think that is the reason the United States created a democracy.

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