"Bakalanga ku Botswana read bottom Link ino leba ku nji-nji"
Bakalanga, Banandzwa, baLilima, baJaunda, baVenda
Excerpts describing and commenting on the Makalanga by 20 different authors some of who were explorers, hunters, travellers and historians.
Mr. Makulukusa DalaundewaTjibelu,
(formerly Mr. Emmanuel Moyo)
Plumtree, Zimbabwe 2010
Cell No:+263 912 784 404,
+263 912 784 404,
+263 712 597 919
1. (a) Tjimanga tja mela- amaize --(Maize has germinated).
(b) Tate ba- ka hing- a mu- Jwanzbeki - father - (Father worked in Johannesburg).
3. Table 1: Sample of Unaccusative and Unergative Verbs in Kalanga
Column A Column B
yitika — happen swika — arrive
gala — stay nda — go
wwa— fall ha — come
fa — die vima — hunt
thimula — sneeze mila — stop
kula — grow hinga — work
mela — germinate tobela — follow
tswa — burn tiha — run away
lala — sleep bva — leave
bola — rot buda — come out
tjila — live gwa — fight
tetema — shake zana — dance
bila — boil bukutja — swim
woma — dry lebeleka — talk
swaba — wilt muka — get up
tanga — begin simuka — stand up
nyikama — dissolve deluka — drop off
nhuwa — stink tembezela — pray
nyamalala — disappear kohola — cough
bukula — bark tjuluka — jump
ngina — enter
(a) i. NON CAUS
Mme ba- ka bhik- a hadza (Mother cooked thick porridge).
Mme ba- ka bhik- is- a Lumbi hadza (Mother made Lumbi cook thick porridge).
(b) i. NON CAUS
Nlume wa- ka kam- a mwizi (The man milked the sheep).
Nlume wa- ka kam- is- a bayisana mwizi (The man caused the boys to milk the sheep).
(a) i. NON CAUS
Banhu ba- ka hing- a (People worked).
Nlume wa- ka hing- is- a banhu (The man caused the people to work).
(b) i. NON CAUS
Mme ba- no nd- a (Mother is going).
Mme ba- no nd- is- a bana (Mother is causing the children to go).
Was born at Dudley, Worcestershire, and educated in Birmingham and at Kinver, Staffordshire. He was for a time a solicitor of the High Court of Judicature and a political agent. He came to Rhodesia in about 1897 when he was appointed Secretary to the Rhodesia Landowners' and Farmers' Association and the first Secretary of the Bulawayo Chamber of Commerce. He became editor of the Matabele Times and Mining Journal and later of the Rhodesia Journal. He also represented the leading London newspapers. He did much to bring Southern Africa before the public by means of exhibitions. In 1898 he was Secretary of the Grahamstown Exhibition and in 1899 was Commissioner of Rhodesia at the Greater Britain Exhibition. He filled a similar position on behalf of the Rhodesia Administration at the Glasgow Exhibition in 1901.
In 1902 Hall was engaged at Rhodes' request to explore the Zimbabwe Ruins, the question of the preservation of the country's historic monuments having become a serious political issue. Together with Neal he collated a wealth of original work at Zimbabwe. In 1909 he traveled for five months alone down the Sabi and the Lundi Rivers collecting ethnological information. He was a fellow of several European and South African scientific societies and was appointed first Curator of the Ancient Monuments of Rhodesia at Zimbabwe. He died on 18 November, 1914. (Publisher's introduction to the June 1972 reprint).
W.G. Neal, coauthor with Hall Was born in Durban and came to Salisbury in 1891 and discovered the Yellow Jacket property. He had previously been a prospecting partner and miner with George Johnson in the Barberton district where they were the first to erect a crushing mill on the Pioneer Reef. He discovered coal on the Lebombo Flats, and moved to the Rand in 1887. In 1891 he met Bent on the Mazoe, the next year he found gold on the Fort Victoria district and, in 1893, served under Captain Lendy during the Matabele troubles there. With Johnson, Neal was a prime mover in the formation of the Rhodesia Ancient Ruins Company which was granted a concession over all ancient ruins by Jameson in 1895. Much damage was done to historical relics in the search for gold and other valuables, and in 1903 the Company was wound up by order of the High Court. Neal died in Natal in 1906 or 1907 after the failure of a mining venture there. (Publisher's Introduction).
On the Bakalanga
Several writers, including Sir John Willoughby, Dr. Schlichter, and Messrs. Selous and Baines, call the Makalangas by the name Makalakas, and many recent writers on Rhodesia, who do not pretend to be authorities on this particular matter, follow their examples in writing of these people. It would seems Amakalanga is the correct name, though the people themselves are in many districts are thoroughly conversant with the name Makalaka.
Mr. Herbert J. Taylor, the Chief Native Commissioner of Matabeleland, state that Makalaka is merely the Sechuana name for these people, as the natives of Bechuanaland still speak of the Makalangas as Makalakas. Possibly this latter name was bestowed upon them by the Zulu hordes from the south, who conquered and made slaves of the Makalangas … the greatest number of admitted authorities agree in stating that the correct name of these people is Amakalanga, or 'People of the sun' (possibly from kalanga [me]). De Barros (1552), Dos Santos (1570), Livio Sanuto (1581), give the name in Portuguese fashion as “Mocarangas.” Dr. Theal states that evidently “the early Portuguese in rendering native names were unaware of the construction of the Abantu language”. (p. xxxiv).
This fact is obvious in many instances. Elsewhere in his works Dr. Theal states: “The Portuguese were not very careful in the orthography of Bantu names.” In writing the name Makalanga, the Portuguese being a Latin nation would naturally follow a rule common to all Latin nations, particularly the French, and would transpose l for r. ...Father Torrend, in his work on the Bantu languages, also the late Rev. T. M. Thomas, Dr. Theal, Messrs. Bent, Swan, and the Revs. D. Carnegie and Cullen Reid, state that the proper name in Amakalanga. Mr. W. Thomas, Native Commissioner, states that these people always called themselves Makalangas before the arrival of the Matabele in the country. Many authorities have always contented that the correct title of Mashonaland in Amakalangaland. Mr. Bent, writing on the Portuguese rendering of Mocangas (sic), says: “Everyone knows the Portuguese custom of substitutingr for l. Umtali is called by them Umtare, and blanco branco; hence with this little Portuguese variant the names are identical … (Note:
The word 'Mocaranga' is first by Father Joao Dos Santos following the old Portuguese rendering which substituted r for l. c.f. this to Diogo Alcacova who writes of the 'kingdom of Vealanga'. Diogo Alcacova wrote his letter to King Manuel of Portugal in 1506, and Dos Santos' Ethiopia Oriental was penned eighty years later in 1586. It is also important to note that Dos Santos was a learned Roman Catholic clergyman learned in Latin, and in his writings used the rule common to Latin languages of substituting the letter r for l [see Theodore Bent, Ruined Cities of Mashonaland below. This matter is not disputed by the historians Sidney Welch (South Africa Under King Manuel: 1495 to 1521 & South Africa Under John III: 15211557, see below) and Dr. George M'Call Theal who both studied Portuguese history, language and literature. I obtained further evidence on this matter from Dr Devon
L. Strolovitch who in August 2005, presented his Dissertation for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Cornell University in the United States entitled 'Old Portuguese in Hebrew Script: Convention, Contact, and Convinvecia'. In his dissertation, Dr Strolovitch states: “Many modern Portuguese words contain consonant clusters whose second element / r/ derives from the etymological /l/. These sound changes are attested by many items in the JudeoPortuguese corpus that also preserve the change in Modern Portuguese. … Yet the texts contain several instances of vernacular spellings whose etymological /l/ has been restored in the modern language. He gives examples of words in which the old Portuguese substituted the letter r for l as follows: resprandecente = resplendente = resplendent; praneta = planeta = planet; pranta = planta = plant; koprinda mente = completamente = completely; prazer = placere; branko = blanku; pobramentos = populamentu = populacao = populations; pubriko = publicu = publico = public]. This employment of the word Mocaranga by Dos Santos has lead many scholars, especially the Shona and British, unfortunately, to create and legitimize a Shona history that never was.
It will be of interest to note that the Mashona have been in Zimbabwe for just above 300 years, since the early 1700s, whereas the Makalanga have been in the land for about 1000 years since about 1000 A.D) … Father Torrend too, in his recent work on the Abantu languages, speaks of the Karanga branch as spoken by the people of Monomotapa and their descendants. Though I fear the name Mashonaland has got too firm a hold over the British mind ever to be altered, and to this I have bowed myself reluctantly in this paper, nevertheless I am convinced that Makalangaland is the correct designation for the country, and it is a very picturesque too, being derived from the Abantu word Langa, the sun, Ka, of, and Ma orBa, the people of, and means the people of the sun. (p.xxxv). “The Monomotapa Empire may have been the last phase of domination which probably began at least 2000 B.C., but whether it was the survival of the ancient activity in these territories it is at present difficult to say” (Times).
Dr. Theal, however, states in The Portuguese in South Africa, p. 123: “The ancient goldworkers mixed their blood with the ancestors of the Makalanga people.” Mr. Bent, as also Dr. Schlichter, Mr. F. C. Selous, are emphatic in tracing the connection, as also are many writers who have lived among the Makalangas and Mashona for years. This connection may not at all be inconstent with the belief of Professor Keane, who holds that the Bushmen Hottentots were the slaves of the ancients who occupied Rhodesia, though Dr. Theal believes that the Abantu people, of whom the Makalangas and the Mashonas formed part of, passed to the south of the Zambesi several hundreds of years before the Christian Era, and that they did not cross to the south of the Limpopo till a much later date. Professor Keane contends that the Bantu peoples arrived from the north and settled in SouthEast Africa at least two thousand years ago. Dr. Theal also states: “Of the various Bantu tribes south of the Zambesi the Makalangas appeared to have a larger proportion of Asiatic blood in their veins than any of the others, which will account for their mental and mechanical superiority. Almost at the first sight the Europeans observed that they were in every respect more intelligent than the blacker tribes along the Mozambique coast”.
Further, “The present Mashonas are descended from the Makalangas of the early Portuguese days and preserve their old name and part of their old country.” (xli). Monomotapa is not the name of a country, though often so applied on maps and in recent writings. Monomotapae Imperium is simply the empire of the Monomotapa (or paramount chief, king, etc.), which is a dynastic name. “The residence of the Monomotapa [when the early Portuguese arrived] was (says Dr. Theal) “close to Mount Fura, which he would never permit the Portuguese to ascend … . The Makalanga chief probably had his title of Monomotapa from his possession of Fura.” Makomba was the personal name of the Monomotapa when the early Portuguese first came in contact with the Makalangas. Shortly afterwards, the chief of the subtribe of Manika Tshikanga was created Monomotapa, and he was succeeded in this office by Kesarimyo (Diogo de Alcazova's Report, 1566, quoted by Dr. Theal). (p. xlii)
“The Monomotapa at this time (1590), who bore the title of Mambo, was well disposed to the Portuguese” (Theal). The form of oath used by the Makalangas at this time was Ke Mambo. (Theal). Kapranzine, the Monomotapa in 1629, was defeated by Manuza, who succeeded to the title. He gave permission to the friars to go anywhere in the country and build churches, and threw open the gold mines for their exploitation by the Portuguese. He was succeeded in 1643 by “Pedro). (pxlii, see Theal for more details).
Mr. Wilmot's (Wilmot, M.L.A., Monomotapa) investigations in the archives of Lisbon and Rome resulted in the bringing to light of the letters of the Jesuit missionaries (15601750, these are altogether approximate dates), who previous to, or during the Portuguese occupation of these territories, laboured in the cause of Christianity among the people of the dynasties of the Monomotapa and Mombo. His narration of tradition prevailing then among the Arab traders of the coast and also among the local races of that period, brings us near to the history of the ancients, between whose occupation and that of various successive kings, who each assumed the dynastic names of Monomotapa and Mombo, many if not very many centuries must have intervened. The discovery of cannon at DhloDhlo Ruins, together with the personal articles of the Jesuit missionary, and the Portuguese fort to the north of the ChicagoGaika mine, and those scores of others throughout the country are interesting, but these relate to a comparatively modern period.
Mr. Wilmot's work contains information so descriptive of the times of the MonomotapaMombo dynasties that one can almost see in one's mind's eye pictures of the life of those partially civilized and powerful Makalanga peoples, whose influence was utterly destroyed when the northward march of the Amaswazi began; when Mombo was skinned alive at his royal kraal, which was built within the ancient ruins which crown the heights of Thabas Imamba, near the Shanghani River, on what is now known as the Hartely Hill Road (p.56).
The Geographical Extent of Ancient Kingdom of Monomotapa
According to old Portuguese and Arab writings, the kingdom of Monomotapa expanded much further to the south of the Murchson Range in the Transvaal Colony. Mr Wilmot states that “Monomotapa is the great interior empire said by some writers to extend from Mozambique to the Cape of Good Hope. In reality it extended only between the Zambesi and the Limpopo Rivers, although it is possible that tributary kingdoms south of the Limpopo may have existed (could explain the Swazi invasion – [me]).”
Father J. Dos Santos, writer if the History of Ethiopia (1570), states, “The coast of Eastern Ethiopia extends to the Cape of Good Hope,” while a map of Africa dated 1528 shows the Oceanus Aethiopicus to extend along the east coast of Africa as far as the most southerly part of the continent, and it makes “Monomotapae Imperium” to occupy country almost extending from slightly to the north of the Zambesi above Tete to within a short distance of the Cape of Good Hope, and covering the central land between Antlantic and the Indian Ocean with the exception of the low coast land on all sides (p. 46). Johnstone (1603) states, “In the residue of Ethiope raigne divers powerful princes as the kings of Adell, Mononugi, Monomotapa, Angola, and Congo. Monomotapa is mightier and more famous than the rest. This kingdom stretches to the Cape of Good Hope, for the viceroys of that huge tract do acknowledge him for their sovereign and superior governor.” Duarte Barbosa (1516) also states that the kings of all countries between Mozambique and Cape were subject to the king of Benomotapa. Old Arab and Portuguese writers include in Monomotapa all the region south of the Zambesi, extending to the country of the Kafirs (Pays de Caffres) even to the banks of the Orange River.
In Les Champs d' Or (1891) the author states, “Opposite Tete (to the south) commenced Mokaranga, or Monomotapa properly so called,” thus confirming the French map of 1705, which shows “Etas du Monomotapa” as south of the Zambesi and practically along its whole length (p.4647). (After investigating evidences
from inscriptions and workings from Zululand, Mafikeng to the Upper Kafulwe River 150 miles north of Victoria Falls, Hall and Neal conclude that the Kingdom of Monomotapa proper lied between the Zambesi from the Victoria Falls to the east of the Lupata Gorge) [p.48]. The western and southern boundaries of the of the area can be better defined. Commencing at the headwaters of the Matetsi River in Wankie's district, about fortyfive miles due to the south of the Victoria Falls, the western boundary runs southsoutheast to a few miles west of Tati Concessions, thus including the ruins on the upper headwater tributaries of the Gwaai, also the Upper and Lower Khami ruins in the Concessions, while proceeding to Elibi, the Shashi, Macloutsie, and Lotsani groups of ruins are included. From Elibi the line runs southwest to a point just beyond the Murchison Range in the Transvaal Colony, and includes districts where ancient goldworkings are numerous, where are ancient ruins which were reported upon by Mr. Baines in 1876. The line then continues northeast to a point on the Lower Sabi River in Portuguese territory, about seventy miles from where the Sabi enters the Indian Ocean, some sixty mile south of Sofala. This line embraces the chain of ancient ruins of the Lower Sabi (p.48). The northwest boundary line may be drawn from somewhat east of the Lupata Gorge to a point somewhat seventy miles northwest of Sofala, including the Mount Fura and Inyanga districts; in which ancient ruins are so numerous, also ruins in Portuguese territory to the northeast of Inyanga, and known ruins further south. There now remains a boundary line to be fixed connecting the southern extremity of the line from the east of the Lupata Gorge with the northern extremity of the line running up from the Murchison Range to the Lower Sabi, a distance of some eighty or a hundred miles, on the length of which lies the ancient and historic port of Sofala, which from the very earliest days of thedefinite history has been recognized to have been goldshipping port of the country of Monomotapa (Rhodesia) (p.4849). Sofala is the name given by old geographers of the seaboard or coast region lying between the Indian Ocean and the high plateau country of Sabia, or Monomotapa. The mediaeval historians and geographers also describe this territory and portions of Monomotapa as Sabi, Sabae, or Saba, after theriver to which are indiscriminately given these names, and which forms the natural outlet to the coast of the country once known as Monomotapa. Sofala in Arabic signifies a low country (p.53). Sofala is also the name of the port on this coast, but whether the present town and harbor of Sofala actually occupied the exact site of the ancient port of that name is a matter of uncertainty. Probably the old port occupied a position on Sofala Bay at some point more inland than the present town. In 930 A.D. the Arabs were known to be established at Sofala. El Masudi (890947) states that the Arabs of his time went habitually to that port to obtain gold and precious stones from the natives. Further, “Sofala is the termination of the voyages of the mariners of Oman and Shiraz... . It is a land abounding in gold, rich in wonderful things, and very fertile” (p.54). (the earliest writers frequently speak of Sofala and Monomotapa as Lower Ethiopia, and of the inhabitants as Ethiopians). But … there are unmistakable traces of these people still remaining to this day, and these are to be seen in the arched noses, thin lips, and refined type of Semitic countenance commonly met with, especially among the Makalangas and Zambesi tribes, the Jewish rites, particularly with regard to food, the superior intelligence and calculating capacities and business instincts, the metallurgical cleverness still in vogue, and knowledge of astronomy, and the polytheistic faiths learned from the ancients, and still preserving several distinctly Semitic practices (p.114).
The ancients and the modern natives; and the intelligence and civilization of the Makalangas
The old Makalanga were in their former semicivilized state the dominant and most cultured of all South African tribes, and were always noted for their skills in mathematics, evidently acquired from the Semitic goldworkers, and today among the native tribes still retain the preeminence in matters requiring calculation (p.80). The Makalangas, whose ancestors had, under the influence of the ancients, become to a large extent civilized, still showed in their commercial capacities, their industries, arts, and religious faiths, the impressions left upon them by the former settlement of the ancients in this country, impressions that in some departments of life can still be noticed in the Makalanga of today (p.107). The present natives appear to have no tradition concerning the ruins. They do not know, or even wish to know, who built them, and if any tradition did exist it would be difficult to obtain any information from them on the subject … Unlike the people of the MomboMonomotapa periods who built their royal kraals within many of the ruins, the present natives, both of Matabeleland and Mashonaland, do not inhabit the ruins, nor will they venture near them at night or after sunset (p.120). We have remarked that the native mind is absolutely blank with regard to any history or any tradition concerning the ruins. This ignorance may be explained by the migratory spirit of all South African races. The Matabele are comparatively recent occupiers of this country, as they only came up from thesouth in 1838. The redundant populations of the southern races have, in the course of time, passed on to the north. The Amaswazi branch of the great Zulu (Nguni) family came north and “wiped out” the MomboMonomotapa peoples, or Makalangas, or Mocarangas, as Dos Santos calls them (p.121). The Makalanga, or “People of the Sun”, who had hitherto (arrival of the Matabele in 1838) been, since the passing away of the ancients, the dominant and most powerful of Kaffir races, “spoke,” as Dos Santos wrote in 1662, “the best and most polished of all Kaffir languages which I have seen in this Ethiopia.” they were at one time, probably owing to the impressions made upon their race by the ancients and the succeeding bastard races, also to a large extent civilized and certainly well versed andexpert in various arts, such as those of metalworking and textile manufacture; were admirable men of business, possessing the power of calculating money, and commercial instincts beyond those of any other tribes, and, according to Arab writers of the thirteenth century, themselves mined and washed for gold and traded it with the Arab merchants at the coast (p.121122). It is held by several authorities that the Makalangas were the dominant race in South Central Africa, with vassal kingdoms extending beyond Monomotapa itself from Congo, and Zambesia to the Orange River if not the Cape of Good Hope. Duarte Barbosa (1516) states that “the Moors of Benemotapa say there is much gold in a country very far situated in the direction of the Cape of Good Hope, in another kingdom which is subjected to this King of Benemotapa – a very great lord having many kings under his vassalage. His country runs through the desert as far as Mozambique to the Cape of Good Hope.” Johnstone (1603) states that the king of Monomotapa was superior lord to all the kings of the countries extending to the Cape of Good Hope (p.122 – c.f. Above on extent of the ancient Kingdom of Monomotapa). De Barros (1532) says that the natives of Benemotapa had more intelligence than the coast natives of Mozambique, Kiloua (Quilva), and Melinde, and that among them theft and adultery were punished severely. With reference to the recorded textile industry of the Makalangas, it is interesting to learn from this writer that the King of Monomotapa would only wear such cloth embroidered with gold as had been manufactured in his country, lest something obnoxious to him might be introduced if such clothing were obtained from abroad. We also learn from Livio Sanuto (1588) that the clothing of the Makalangas of the Monomotapa kingdom was made of linen and cloth interwoven with fine gold wire.
This material so interwoven was found on the remains of the Mambo chief in the M'Telegwa (Thabas Imamba, or Dome or Ntabazinduna) ruins (p.122123).
But what a contrast do we see in the present Makalangas of Matabeleland and Mashonaland, for the Mashonas, says Mr. Bent, are the descendants of the people of Monomotapa! They are still here, but it is difficult indeed to recognize in this timid race of slaves the bold and warlike people who for centuries were the superior and most powerful race of Monomotapa. The transition in their case is a vast one, and can be explained. Their dominance and cohesion were utterly destroyed when the northward march of Amaswazis began. Hunted, persecuted, and taken for slaves by their conquerers, they sank from the position of the most superior Kaffir people to being “dogs of slaves” (M'Holi = slaves and Amaswina = dogs), timid, cowardly, and serville, taking refuge in kopjes, hardly daring to show their faces even to till the small patches of ground close to their stronghold dwellings (p.123).
Later on the country was ravaged by the people of Cazembe, and later still the present Angoni (Gaza Nguni) crossed the Zambesi from the south, after having occupied large portions of Southern Rhodesia for a considerable period. Still later the present Barotsi (the Rozwi) from the south temporarily occupied the country and then crossed the Zambesi to their present territory (note that some of these people did not cross the Zambesi but were scattered across Zimbabwe, and are the ancestors of the modern Mashona. Those who settled across the Zambesi, later called the Barotse, were later subdued by the vicious Sothocore
Makololo of Sebetuane fleeing the Lefaqane), while in 1838 the Matabele, or as they style themselves, the Amandabele, came up from the south and conquered the country (p.123).
To all these successive conquerers the Makalangas, who to this day still form a large portion of the native population, were the slaves and tillers of the ground. Their cohesion was so completely destroyed, and their past arts and industries so entirely forgotten during the four centuries of persecution and slavery, that what is seen of them today is but a sorry picture of a past glory, and the people who once boasted a long line of powerful kings, and themselves worked for gold, sank to such a level of ignorance that for a small bundle of brass wire they would gladly give in exchange as much as fifty ounces of gold, while the modern pioneers and traders of the early days of the white occupation they would part with such few gold gold ornaments as they possessed for an altogether inadequate value in food (p.123124).
Even as early as the thirteenth century the decadence of the Makalangas from a former state of semicivilization was noticeable, for the Arab writer, Omar ibn l'Wardi, sates (circa 1200), in alluding to SouthEast Africa, “The most remarkable produce of this country is its quantity of native gold … in spite of which the natives adorn their person with ornaments of brass.” (p.124).
Duarte Barbosa (1516) writes: “The people of Monomotapa came to Sofala charged with gold, and give such quantities such that the merchants gain once hundred for one.” Again he writes: “The natives bring to Sofala the gold which they sell to the Moors without weighing it, for colored stuffs and beads of Cambay.” (p.124).
De Barros (1532) says: “The earth of Monomotapa is so rich that if the inhabitants were greedy they could obtain enormous quantities of the precious metal, but they are so lazy, and have so few wants, that they require to be pushed by famine before they will work in the mines.” (p.124).
Today their decadence is even more marked. Sir John Willoughby says of the Makalanga: “He has no wants beyond a blanket or two, a wife or two, a few beads, a pinch of salt, and a sufficiency of Kaffir beer. With these he is perfectly content to drone through life, and can only with difficulty be persuaded to attempt the simplest kind of work. Brutalized and degraded by a long course of raiding by the Matabele he has become little better than the hunted beast.”(p.124).
Mr. Selous states that “the natives seem to have lost all knowledge of even the most primitive processes employed by their forefathers to extract the gold from the soil.” This remark, judging by the context, applies only to quartz mining, which the natives have abandoned. They still wash gold in some parts of Mashonaland. This abandonment of quartz mining appears to have commenced as far back as the days of Manoel Barreto, for he states: “The Kaffirs of Monomotapa prefer the gold taken from the rivers to that taken from the mines.” (p.125).
Yet are there in their pursuits some traces of their former days of enlightenment, some gems of a forgotten knowledge, some instincts above the environments in which they are now placed, a latent force that, with contact with the civilization of the white man, may cause them to awake and spring into some newer life with a far prouder name and history than they today possess. Several authorities,judging the mental capacity of this people, believe that when the Matabele race shall have died out and been forgotten, the Makalanga – the ancient “People of the Sun” will, saved by their Semitic connection, once more become a potent force among the people of South Africa (p.125).
Mr. Bent, speaking of the Makalangas, observes: “Some of them are decidedly handsome, and not at all like negroes; many of them have a distinctly Arab cast of countenance, and with their peculiar rows of tufts on the tops of their heads looked en profil like the figures one sees on Egyptian tombs. There is certainly a Semitic drop of blood in their veins; whence it comes will never be known, but it is marked on both their countenances and their customs.” Mr. Selous affirms that the natives of Mashonaland at the present day belong to the Bantu family, who are certainly not a pure race, though the negro blood predominates with them. The infusion of foreign blood, which undoubtedly runs in their veins, must have come from a lighter skinned people, for I have noticed in all the tribes of Kaffirs amongst whom I have traveled that good features, thin lips and wellshaped heads are almost invariably correlated with a lightcolored skin.” Mr. Bent and Mr. Selous, in expressing this opinion, both concrete the opinions of almost every writer of authority on the question of the Makalangas (p.125126).
In considering the impressions made upon the race of the Makalangas by the Semitic ancients ancients who built and occupied the Zimbabwes in Rhodesia, many interesting features present themselves. The stay of the ancients in this country can be shown to have been so lengthy and so extended that some evidences of the ancient impress upon the mental and physical conditions of the present Makalangas are noticeable to this day, notwithstanding nigh two two thousand years have flown since the influence of the ancients was withdrawn. Certainly contact with the Arabs of the coast may have in some degree tended to the preservation of the impress, still the fact remains undisputed that among the Makalangas can still be found links connecting with the ancient Semitics.
1. Physical features – Their Semitic cast of countenance has already been referred to. Arched noses, lightercolored skin, thin lips, and refined type of face are very commonly met with among these people.
2. Intelligence – In mental capacity they are more advanced than any other tribe in SouthEast and SouthCentral Africa. This fact is mentioned by almost every Portuguese writer since 1516, some of whom declare the Makalangas to have been far more intelligent than the natives of the coast, who for many centuries had the advantage of contact with civilised people. Their
8. Commercial instincts and shrewdness are their preeminent
characteristics to this day. Their facility in calculating is beyond that of any other tribe. Matabele “boys” receiving their wage will appeal to a Makalanga to count the money to ensure them they are receiving the stipulated amount of wage, while the Makalanga play the Isafuba game, which is a game of calculation, in far more complicated form than any other tribe. Possibly their superior knowledge of astronomy may be a relic of their contact with the ancient and star worshipers. In their musical proclivities they exhibit ideas of harmony which are quiet exceptional among South African peoples. The “Makalanga piano” (probably 'mbila' – it is a xylophone instrument which is claimed to be the finest musical instrument of the Venda. It is made from wood, calabashes and plant fibre. The “keys” were three to four inches wide, made of various thickness and beautifully decorated with incised designs. Calabashes serves as sounding boards and were attached in graduating sizes with plant fibre. Small apertures were closed by thin membranes – www.ezakwantu.com) is of complicated construction, requiring great skill of manipulation, and resembles similar pianos found in Egypt and represented in the British Museum; while from a concertina a Makalanga will evolve chords and combinations which, though decidedly monotonous, are often somewhat surprisingly musical and correct. It may be noted that Makalanga children are particularly intelligent, but this brightness wears off before they reach maturity (p. 127).
3. Industries – The Makalangas are a nation of copper and iron workers, in which industries they are true artists. Formerly they worked extensively in copper, and to this day they manufacture ornaments such as bangles and beads from that metal. In mediaeval times they were to some extent goldsmiths, for nativemade instruments for drawing wire have been found with gold wire still remaining in the gravitating holes … Also in the mediaeval times they manufactured linen interwoven with fine gold wire, for we find in the oldest Portuguese writers mention of this, and also of the fact that the King of Monomotapa would only wear such linen which had been manufactured in his own country. Probably these arts formed the basis of their present industry of weaving bark and grass, and manufacturing finely twisted wire bangles, which latter articles resemble those made in Europe by machinery. In their woodcarving and pottery, Mr. Wilmot states, there is a link with the past, the patterns being geometrical and closely resembling the fretwork decorations typical of the Phoenician litholatric worship practiced countless ages ago. Mr. Selous points to the fact that the wooden household dishes of the natives are identical in shape to the ancient soapstone dishes discovered at Zimbabwe.
4. Dynastic names – the chiefs of all Makalanga tribes invariably have dynastic names in the same manner as the Pharaohs of old. Writers suggest that this shows a link with northern people.
5. Totems – Every tribe has its totem, and as the lion was the totem of Judah and the bull of Ephraim, so the lion, the crocodile, buffalo, or one of the buck tribe, form the totem of the Makalangas. Kromer, in Akademie der Wissenschaften, states that the system of totems originated with tribes in Arabia. The totems of the Indians of North America have been suggested as resultant of the Punic influence, Carthage having been a Phoenician colony.
6. Stone buildings – Authorities agree that at one time the Makalangas were in the habit of erecting circular huts of stone. This practice is shown in the inferior buildings erected on the present floors of many of the ruins, the stones of which have evidently been removed from the ancient walls. The art of building with stone is believed to have been a heritage from the Semitic ancient occupiers.
7. Religion – In dealing with the religious faiths of the Makalangas we are faced with some little difficulty, for the writers in this subject may be divided into two distinct camps, each maintaining diametrically opposite opinions. As these are man of undoubted authority on native questions, being intimate with the natives and wellversed in their customs and traditions, this may appear strange, but it is not so.
8. Each authority has accurately described the Makalangas as he has found them in particular districts, and all these writers are absolutely correct in their statements. The Makalangas were once a powerful nation, but they can hardly be called a nation today, for after centuries of slavery they have become separated and spread over vast extents of country, though the bulk of them are still to be found in Matabeleland and Mashonaland. Today they form separate tribes of the same race with varying dialects, and in some instances with customs entirely distinct; but, as Mr. Selous observes, “the blood of the ancient worshipers of Baal still runs in their veins.” On the one hand, De Barros (1532) says: “The people of Monomotapa (Makalangas) believe in one God, whom they name Mezimo, and adore no idol,” and “they possessed a distinct idea of the Supreme Being.” Mr. Bent writes: “In religion they are monotheists; that is to day, they believe in a Supreme Being called Muali, between whom and them their ancestors, or mozimos, to whom they sacrifice, act as intercessors. They lay out food for the dead; they have a day of rest during the ploughing season, which they call Muali's Day; they sacrifice a goat to ward off pestilence and famine, and circumcision is practiced.” This opinion is supported by several authorities on local natives. On the other hand, we read that the Portuguese missionaries (in 1631) state: “The people of Monomotapa are nearly all pagans, and are without knowledge of religion”; while Sir John Willoughby asserts: “Throughout the country (Mashonaland) the natives know no God. The 'Muali' of the south and the 'Molemi' of the north is merely a vague sort of spirit, of both good and evil repute, who is supposed to be the prompter of every action – good, bad or indifferent. They neither reverence nor believe in the shades of their ancestors, beyond a superstition that the ghosts of some folk's fathers and forefathers are able to annoy their descendants. Witchcraft obtains throughout the country as a chief and almost sole belief of the people.” (p. 126131). It may truly be said that other Kaffir tribes located much further to the south also have certain customs which may be traced to the Semitic origin. This is so with reference to all Bantu people. But after examining all the available authorities as to these Kaffir peoples, we doubt if they possess these traits as distinctly and as numerously as do the Makalangas. Mr. Bent states that it is believed that the Basutos at no very remote period migrated from Monomotapa, while in 1720 several tribes of the Makalangas were forced south by Zulus and entered Natal (Possibly explaining the people we find in Zululand and the Mpumalanga Provinces with animal totems, i.e. the Ndebeles, Ngwenya, Ndlovu, Khupe, etc. Prior to the Zimbabwean economic crisis, it was the mainly the Kalanga, if not only the Kalanga, who migrated to South Africa to seek employment in the mines. This mines knowledge they used in the Meselane mines, having obtained it from the ancient Semitics. In addition to those that were forced by Nguni hordes, some migrated for labour purposes) while everything points to intimate relationships between the Makalangas and the Kaffir peoples of the south. Tribes as far south as the Orange River were subject to the kings of Monomotapa. In this way the stone buildings of the Basutos have been accounted for (p.131132).
Moreover, it is believed that the ancients worked for gold in Natal, Orange River Colony, and Namaqualand, though this has not so far been distinctly proved. At any rate, the western fleets of the Phoenicians are known to have visited the west coast, while it is more probable that the Punic people of Carthage, the enterprising colony of the Phoenicians, also exercised influence on that coast, while Portuguese records show that as early as the sixteenth century the Arabs, who were Mohammedans traded along the whole of the coast of SouthEast Africa (p.132).
The Rev. G. Cullen H. Reed, of the London Missionary Society station in Bulalima, in Matabeleland, who have labored for some years among the Makalanga of that district writes: “In all descriptions of the Makalanga it must be carefully borne in mind that there is no tribe, existing as one, which bears this name, but the people to whom it is applied consist of many tribes having their own peculiar traditions and customs more or less allied, but with considerable differences most confusing to the enquirer. So far I have not gone to one of the old men to say there was a definite meaning to the term 'Zimbabwe,' save as to the name of the old capital of Mamba (Mambo). It may, however, be derived from the wordsndzimu and ibgwe, and mean a 'spirit of the rock.' Monomotapa and Benomotapa are, I think, mistakes on the part of the Portuguese, at any rate, no one now knows them. It seems as if a phrase, no doubt often heard by the early visitors, had been caught up and misapplied as a name. Onamata means to 'visit', or 'sit with,' in the sense of a subject to a chief. Hence, if I am right, Monomota pa (na he) means 'he visits the chief,' and Benomota pa na he is the plural (p.134135).Note. Most of the Portuguese writers of the sixteenth century speak of the people of Monomotapa as “Mocarangas.” Later writers, while employing the name “Mocarangas” for these people, also call them “Makalangas.” Many authorities on native language have always contented that the more correct title of Mashonaland is “Makalangaland.” (p.139).
2. Theal, G.M. 1896. The Portuguese in South Africa: With a description of the native races between the river Zambesi and the Cape of Good Hope during the sixteenth century. Cape Town: J.C. Juta & Co. (George M'Call Theal of the Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. Foreign member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, Utrecht, Holland. Corresponding member of the Royal Historical Society, London, England. Honorary Member of the Literary Association, Leiden of the Commission for preparing a history of the Walloon Churches, and the Historical Society of Utrecht. Formerly keeper of the Archives of the Cape Colony. He said that he had done what was at that time arguably the most extensive study of Bantu peoples Southern African natives).
On the Makalanga as the predominant people between the Zambezi and the Sabi Rivers
The predominant people in the country between the rivers Sabi and Zambesi were at that time (early 1500s) the Mokaranga as termed by the Portuguese, or Makalanga as pronounced by themselves, a word which means people of the sun (I have here argued in this paper that this is a mistake, for 'people of the sun' is taken from a 'Ngunirized' or 'Zuluized' reading of the name 'Bakalanga'., c.f. Masola below). This tribe occupied territory extending to the far west, but just how far it is impossible to say (c.f. Masola's assertion that the country extended to Makarikari Salt Pans). Along the southern bank of the Zambesi and scattered here and there on the sea coast were clans who were not Makalanga by blood, and who were independent of each other. South of the Sabi river lived a tribe named the Batonga, whose outposts extended beyond the Cape das Correntes. There are people of this name in various parts of South Africa still, but it does not follow that they are descended from the Batonga of the sixteenth century. The country has often been swept by war since that time, and of the ancient communities many have been absolutely destroyed, while others have been dispersed and reorganized quite differently. There is not a single tribe in South Africa today that bears the same title, has the same relative power, and occupied the same ground, as its ancestors three hundred years ago. The people we call Mashona are indeed descended from the Makalanga of the early Portuguese days, and they preserve their old name and part of their old country (see Masola on this country), but the contrast between their condition and that of the tribe in the period of its greatness is striking. Internal dissension, subjection, and merciless treatment from conquerors have destroyed most of what was good in their forefathers (p.121122).
This tribe – the Makalanga – was the one with which the Portuguese had most to do. Its paramount chief was called by them the monomotapa, which word, their writers state, meant emperor, but in reality it was only one of the hereditary titles originally given by the official praisers of the chief, and meant either master of the mountains or master of the mines. The Portuguese were not very careful in the orthography of Bantu names, and in the early days they had not discovered the rules which govern the construction of the languages, so that probably monomotapa does not present the exact sound as spoken by the natives, though most likely it approximates closely to it. About the first part of the word there is no uncertainty. In one of the existing dialects mong means master or chief, in another omuhana has the same meaning. The plural of the mong is beng, and one of the Portuguese writers gives the wordbenomotapa, evidently from having heard it used by natives in a plural form. Another Portuguese writer, in relating the exploits of a chief named Munhamonge, says that word meant master of the world, and his statement is perfectly correct. Thus monomotapa meant chief of something, but what that was not is not so certain.(p.1223).
But there is another possible explanation of the word, which would give it a much more romantic origin. It may have meant chief of the mines, for the termination, slightly altered in form, in one of the Bantu dialects signifies a large hole in the ground. In this case the title may have come down from a very remote period, and may have originated with the ancient goldworkers who mixed their blood with the ancestors of the Kalanga people. (At some unknown period in the past people more civilized than the Bantu … made their appearance on the tableland of Africa south of the Zambesi. They were almost certainly Asiatics, and they must have come down in vessels from some part of the coast, and gone inland, for no traces of them have been found in the north. They constructed buildings of dressed stone without cement or mortar, some of considerable size, the ruins of which remain to the present day, and they were gold miners on an extensive scale … these people were very numerous, and had occupied the country for a very long time. p.75).
This is just possible, but it is so unlikely that it is almost safe to translate the word monomotapa, manamotapa, or manomotapa, as different Portuguese writers spelt it, chief of the mountain. In an case it signified the paramount or great chief of the Kalanga tribe, and was applied to all who in succession held that office (p.1234).
Some interest is attached to this word Monomotapa, inasmuch as it was placed on maps of the day as if it was the name of a territory, not the title of a ruler, and soon it was applied to the entire region from the Zambesi to the mouth of the Fish river. Geographers, who knew nothing of the country, wrote the word upon their charts, and one copied another until the belief became general that a people far advanced in civilization, and governed by a might emperor, occupied the whole of SouthEastern Africa. The towns were marked in on the chart, and rivers were traced upon it, and men of highest standing in science lent their names to the fraud, believing it to be true, until a standard map of the seventeenth century was as misleading as it was possible to make it. Readers of Portuguese histories must have known this, but no one rectified the error, because no one could substitute what was really correct (p.124).
And even in recent years educated men have asked what has become of the mysterious empire of Monomotapa, a question which can be easily answered by reading the books of De Barros, De Cauto, and Dos Santos, and analyzing the Kalanga words which they repeat. The foundation upon which imagination constructed it was nothing more than a Bantu tribe. The error arose mainly from the use of the words emperor, king, and prince to represent African chiefs, a mistake, which was however not confined to the Portuguese, for it pervades a good deal of English literature of the nineteenth century, where it has done infinitely more to mislead readers than those expressions ever did in the times gone by (p. 124125).
The Kalanga tribe was larger and occupied a much greater extent of territory than any now existing in South Africa (note: South Africa here means Southern Africa). It was held together by the same means as the others, that is principally by the religious awe with which the paramount chief was regarded, as representing in his person the mighty spirits that were feared and worshiped. There was always the danger of a disputed succession, however, when it might not be certain which of two or more individuals was nearest to the line of descent and therefore the one to whom the fealty was due. How long the tribe had existed before the Portuguese became acquainted with it, and whether it had attained its greatness by growth or by conquest, cannot be ascertained, but very slowly afterwards it was broken into several independent communities (p.125).
The tribe belonged to that section of the Bantu family which in general occupies the interior of the country. It was divided into a great number of clans, each under its own chief, and all of these acknowledged the monomotapa as their superior in rank, the distant clans, even with the religious bond of union in full force, were very loosely connected with the central government. There was one peculiar custom however, that prevented them from forgetting it: a custom that most likely had a foreign origin.
Every year at a certain stage of the crops a command was sent throughout the country that when the next new moon appeared all the fires were to be put out, and could only be lit again from the spreading one kindled by the Monomotapa himself (p.125126).
Mining among the Makalanga
Throughout the greater part of the territory occupied by the Makalanga gold was found, and particularly in the district of Manika. No other mode of obtaining it was known – at least as far as the Portuguese and the Arabs could ascertain – than by washing ground either in the rivers or in certain localities after heavy rains. The gold, unless it was in nuggets of some size, was not wrought by the finders, as they were without sufficient skill to make any except the roughest ornaments of it. For a very long time, however, its value in trade had been known. It was kept in quills, and served as a convenient medium of exchange until the Arabs got possession of it (p.129130).
Copper and iron were also to be had from the Makalanga. This iron was regarded as of superior quality, so much so that a quantity was once sent to India to make firelocks of it. Though the smelting furnaces were of the crudest description, this metal was obtainable in greatest abundance, just as it is today among the Bapedi far south. (p.130).
The splitting of the Makalanga Empire into four sections
About the middle of the sixteenth century the Kalanga tribe had split into four sections, independent of each other. The way in which the Tshikanga section, occupying the district of Manika, broke assunder from the main body has been related (see above). A further separation took place in the following manner. Two sons of the paramount chief during their father's lifetime were entrusted with the government of clans, and upon his death refused to acknowledge as their superior their half brother who claimed to be the great heir, but about whose legitimate right there must have been some uncertainty, or otherwise he must have been a weakling. One of the seceders, Sedanda by name, governed the clan living on the coast between the Sabi and Sofala, and the other, named Ketive, was head of the clan living along the Sofala and occupying territory as far north as the Tendankulu river. The great heir retained the title of Monomotapa and the government of the remainder of the Kalanga people, but the sections here named were for ever lost to him and his successors. Thereafter war was frequent between the newly formed tribes, and when Homen (Vasco Fernandes Homen, then governor and captain general over all the coast from Cape Gardafui to Cape de Correntesp149) arrived at Sofala he found Ketive and Tshikanga at variance with each other (p.150).
3. Doke, C.M 1954. The southern Bantu languages. London: Oxford University Press.
Professor C. M. Doke was head of the Institute of African Languages and Cultures and Professor of Bantu Studies at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, and was called upon by the Southern Rhodesia Missionary Conference to provide technical advice on the possible unification of Zimbabwean languages for the creation of a 'standard' Shona orthography, which resulted in the unification of Zezuru, Karanga, Ndau, Korekore and Manyika. He concluded that Kalanga does not jive with this unification. This happened between 1923 and 1930.
The Southcentral Zone (of languages): this zone comprises a single Bantu group, viz Shona. This group ins divided into six clusters as follows: Korekore, Zezuru, Karanga, Manyika, Ndau, and Kalanga (p.21).
Kalanga (or Western Shona) Cluster comprises the following: Kalanga, Rozwi, Nyai, Nambzya, Lilima, Peri and Talahundra (p.23).
In 1929 a survey of the linguistic position of Southern Rhodesia was undertaken, resulting in the acceptance of a new unified orthography and proposals for unification over most of the area. Western Shona (meaning Kalanga) was excluded from this unification owing to too great a divergence from the other clusters. Since that time numerous publications have appeared in Unified Shona; these include a complete translation of the Bible (p.205).
It was further decided that the unified grammar be standardized on the basis of Karanga and Zezuru, while for vocabulary purposes words from Zezuru, Karanga, Manyika, and Ndau be drawn upon, the introduction of words from other dialects being discouraged (p.205).
This western type of Shona (Kalanga) was sufficiently different from the other clusters to preclude its participation in the Shona unification (p.252).
4. Mathers, E. P 1891. Zambesia: England's El Dorado in Africa – being a description of Matabeleland and Mashonaland, and lessknown adjacent territories, and an account of the gold fields of British South Africa. London: King, Sell, & Railton, Ltd. Mathers was a British Newspaper Journalist who travelled with the Pioneer Column in its entrance into Zimbabwe, and his newspaper reports were later compiled into the above book.
Geographical Areas occupied by Makalanga at the entrance of the Pioneer Column
The Times correspondent with the Pioneer Force of the British South Africa Company gave an interesting account of the ruins, some extracts from which may here be preserved: “The ruins themselves lie at the base of a striking and precipitous granite 'kopje,' inhabited by one of the Mashona tribes, under a chief called Moghabi (p.31 – it seems to me to be a British thing to always advance a 'Shona' cause, for they can't separate Shona from Kalanga. Matthers himself later says in his book that Mogabhi was a Kalanga chief, hence showing that he was thinking of the Kalanga as the British of that time classified the Makalanga as a Shona group).
Describing the route into Matabeleland, and talking of Mahalapye, Mathers says: “About the Mitlie and Mahalapsie River there are rocky ledges of pink porphyry, which form beautiful falls when the river is full. The quartz here has evidently been worked in days gone by, as there have been found old Makalaka or Mashona (confusion of Makalanga and Mashona by Mathers) smelting works (p.183).
On the high ground above this pool (on the Tati River) is an old Mashona copper mine. There are five shafts, or holes, in the reef, and the quartz is very rich. When the old mines at Tati, both gold and iron, were being worked by the Mashonas the ore from this time probably went up there to be smelted, as there are no traces of smelting on the spot (another confusing of the Makalanga and the Mashona by the British – p.185).
The road (from Majuloju [Matsiloje]) Hills runs for nine miles to the right bank of the Impakwe (Gwambako, called by the Matabele Imbakwe, now Embakwe in Mangwe District) river until it reaches a ford in that river. … there are “remains of old Mashona smelting works” (This is Makalangaland, c.f. The early missionaries who worked Gwambako area – 186 [Gwambako guli gwizi).
Massacre of BaKalanga by the Ndebele at Manyalala Hills
”From Gwambako the road goes further 9 miles to where it reaches the Manialala (Manyalala) Hills. Here the Batalauta (Batalaunda) tribe and Makalakas formerly lived, and the Matabele assegai has been here; the only sign of life being a few bushman's parts. “The road now winds round Makhobi's Hills, named after the Batalauta chief, a vassal of Mosilikatse. Here there was once a populous and thriving town. The old road remains leading up, but a curse seems to have fallen on this once fertile spot since the dastardly massacre of its inhabitants by the hellhounds of Mosilikatse. Mr. Mackezie (author ofSeven Years North of the Orange River) has given a graphic account of this cruel slaughter, which he fitly calls an “African Glencoe.” The ruins of the numerous huts still remain in this picturesque valley, where once a happy people gathered around a gigantic baobab tree in the center of their town. Mahuka, the successor of Machobi, was treacherously massacred with men, women, and children of his town, because he refused, although admitting vassalship to Mosilikatse, to guide the Matabele to the cattle posts of the Bamangwato, with whom his people were closely connected. The valley north of these hills was once the garden ground of the Batalauta … as late as 1864.”(p.186187).
Makalangaland, referred to as Matabeleland
The Matabele Highlands country is one bristling mass of … kopjes from Samokwe River to the Shashani River. Thence they stretch away to the Matoppo Mountains, and culminate near Old Gubulawayo in Tab Ingoko Mountains … The Makalakas who have now submitted to the Matabele retain their kraals in these hills (p.188). Mashonaland may be said to encircle the country actually occupied by the Matabele on the north, and around to the southeast as far as the River Sabi. Some writers have held that formerly a great Mashona kingdom, with Zimbabye as its capital, existed where Matabeleland now is. The present condition of the Mashona is one of complete disintegration. They live by families on separate hills, and though they intermarry they keep up perpetual blood feuds. It would be most difficult to fuse this mass into a united nation; their very division into units must ever prevent their holding their own against any organized power.
The Makalakas on the west occupy a similar position to the Mashonas. They are an industrious people famous for working in metals, but gradually driven out from the hill country by the Matabele repeated massacres. Some have acknowledged the sway of their persecutors, others have taken refuge with the Bamangwato tribe, and some have even trekked beyond the Zambesi. The western frontier line of the Makalaka towns are said to serve two masters. When the Matabele are in their vicinity they are their very humble servants … The Matabeles away, they are said to acknowledge Khama. These are the industrious people hounded out of their country by Mosilikatse's “Dogs of War.” (p.213).
Recognition of Makalangaland by the British
It is important to note that even as late as 1889, the British government, though using the names
Mashonaland and Matabeleland, still recognized the name Makalangaland. On November 21, 1889, “the following dispatch has been addressed to the Marquis of Salisbury, K.G., Her Majesty's Principal Secretary of the State for Foreign Affairs, to John Glynn Petre, Esq., C.B., Her Majesty's Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Lisbon, instructing him to protest against the Portuguese Royal Decree of November 9, 1889: “
Sir, in your dispatch of the 16th inst. I received a copy of the following Royal Decree which was published in the official Gazette of the 9th inst. It purports to place a territory under Portuguese administration in the interior of Africa to the north and south of the Zambesi River. … I have to request you to remind the Portuguese Government that Mashonaland is under British influence, and to state that Her Majesty's Government do not recognize a claim of Portugal to any portion of that territory. The agreement between Lo Bengula and Great Britain of the 11th of February, 1888, was duly notified to them in accordance with the instruction given by me to Sir George Bonham in my dispatch of July of that year. It was officially published in the Calan Colony. The agreement recorded the fact that Lobengula is ruler of Mashonaland and Makalangaland (what later became Matabeleland).” (p.227228).
On the Banyai (a Kalanga people according to several other authors)
To the country between the Tuli and Lunde Rivers the name of Banyailand may be very properly given, as it is inhabited by a number of petty socalled Banyai chiefs, who, by some account are tributary to Lo Bengula, but who by others refuse to recognize the Matabele monarch as their King. … The lot of the Banyai natives can hardly be regarded as a happy one. These unfortunate people live in constant dread of everrecurring raids from the Matabele, who, apparently, when they have nothing better to do, and out of sheer wantonness, raid down and kill them indiscriminately, carrying off their wives, children, cattle, and corn, just leaving them enough of the latter to grow another year's crop and keep them from starvation (p.350).
At time of the entrance of the British Pioneer column, the Makalanga would be described as “chickenhearted” people living in constant dread of Matabele raids (p369). The Makalaka, or Banyai people, a mild and inoffensive race lived in daily and hourly terror of the Matabele … Although friendly to the British, they were disposed to holding aloof from them, the reason being that they regarded the whites as doomed to be destroyed by the Matabele, and they feared that they would suffer for their friendship, later on (p.355).
5. Duffy, J 1959. Portuguese Africa. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
”In 1505, a Portuguese by the name Antonio Fernandes made his way into the interior of East Africa from Sofala seeking information on the gold country that grabbed so much of the Portuguese imagination. “On two trips he explored the area roughly comprising the modern district of Manica and Sofala and the eastern half of Southern Rhodesia … That part of Mocambique visited by Antonio Fernandes was inhabited by the Makalanga, with whom the Portuguese had more contact in the early centuries than they did with any other Bantu people. The Makalanga in 1500 had come to the lands between the Save and the Zambezi comparatively recently, probably from northwest of Rhodesia, and had incorporated their predecessors in the area or pushed them to the south, as the Makalanga themselves were to be assimilated or displaced by the Barotse (Rozwi) in the eighteenth century. The various tribes forming the Makalanga community were in a frequent state of unrest in one part of the country or another. The Portuguese entertained an exaggerated notion of the extent of the power of the paramount chief of the Makalanga. This ruler they termed the Monomotapa, and his residence was held to be in the neighborhood of Mount Darwin. The actual political state of the region seems to have been that the chiefs of the various tribes acknowledged the religious suzerainty of the Monomotapa (c.f. Fire lighting tradition), but were far from being his vassals (p.3132).
From the Letter of Diogo de Alcacova in 1506 entitled “Kings and Barons.” Taken from G. M. Theal, Records of Southern Africa, 1900, vol. 1, p. 62. Establishing themselves along the southeast coast during the opening years of the sixteenth century, the Portuguese became at once aware of the powers in the inland country upon which they must depend for any hope of gold. They had much trouble in understanding the true situation there, partly because the Swahili merchants whose cities they had seized and subjected were anything but anxious to enlighten them, and partly because they were as yet incapable of going to see for themselves. Alcacova's letter to the king in Lisbon reflects their confusion about the dynastic strife which was then going on between the Monomotapa and his rebellious vassals, notably Changa in the far southwest. Changa, having won these wars, in 1513 the Sofala factor duly reports “peace at last.” (p.146147).
Diogo Alcacova's Letter
The kingdom, Sir, in which there is the gold that comes to Sofala is called Vealanga (NB: this undoubtedly Bukalanga, c.f. Monica below, Oxford History of South Africa, she refers to Mashonaland as VhuKalanga, as it was called before the arrival of the Mashona), and the kingdom is very large, in which there are many large towns, besides many other villages, and Sofala itself is in this kingdom if not the whole land along the sea. The kings of the interior pay little or no regard to it if the Moors are in possession [of Sofala]; and going along the coast and towards the interior four leagues, because they [the Moors] do not attempt to go further inland, as the Kaffirs rob and kill them, for they do not believe in anything. And, Sir, a man might go from Sofala to a city which is called Zumubany (Zimbabwe?] which is large, in which the king always resides, in ten or twelve days, if you travel as in Portugal; but because they do not travel except from morning until midday, and eat and sleep until the next morning when they go on again, they cannot go to this city in less than twenty or twentyfour days; and in thewhole kingdom of Vealanga gold in extracted; and in this way: they dig out the earth and make a kind of tunnel, through which they go under the ground a long stone's throw, and keep on taking out from the veins with the ground mixed with the gold, and, when collected, they put it in a pot, and cook it much in fire; and after cooking they take it out, and put it to cool, and when cold, the earth remains,and the gold, all fine gold … and no man can take it [the gold] out without leave from the king, under the penalty of death. And this king who now reins, Sir, in Vealanga, is the son of Mokomba, late king of the said kingdom, and he has the name Kewsarimgo Menomotapa, which is like saying king so and so, because the title of the king is Menomotapam, and the kingdom Vealanga. Your highness is already aware that for twelve or thirteen years there has been war in the kingdom from which the gold came toSofala … (p.148149).
Joao Dos Santos: Southcentral Africa in 15901600, [Extracts from Joao dos Santos, Ethiopia Oriental, in the translation of Purchas His Pilgrimes (reprinted Glasgow: 1905), vol. 9.Also in J. Pinkerton, A General Collection of the Best and Most Interesting Voyages and Travels, etc. (London: 1814), vol. 16. Joao dos Santos, who wrote the earliest detailed reports of Central Africa, was a Dominican priest who arrived on the East Coast in 1586.
From then until 1590 he served at Sofala. In the later year he travelled up the Zambezi to the trading posts of Sena and Tete, returning a year later to Mozambique Island. He left Africa in 1595 after serving in the Kerimba Islands and again at Sofala, remained eleven years in Portugal, returned to the Coast and went up the Zambezi a second time. His Ethiopia Oriental (i.e., East Africa) was published in Evora (in Portugal), in 1609 and soon afterwards translated into English. When he refers to “Moors,” he is speaking of the Muslim inhabitants of the coastal settlements, most of whom were Swahili. Much of what he has to say is of the highest sociological interest.The Kingdom of Monomotapa This Kingdom of Manamotapa, is situate in Mocaranga (see above on the use of the word Mocaranga by Dos Santos), which in times past was wholly of the Manamotapa Empire, but now is divided into four Kingdoms, to wit, this of Manamotapa, that of Quiteve, the third of Sedanda and the fourth of Checanga. This division was made by a Manamotapa Emperor, who not willing or not able to govern so remote Countries, sent his Son Quiteve to govern that part which runs along the River of Sofala, and Sedanda another Son, to that which Sabia washes, a river which visits the Sea before the Bosicas: and Chicanga a third Son to the Lands of Manica. These three after their Father's death would never acknowledge their Brother his Successor: and the same without yearly warring with each other, continues to do their Posterity. Yet is the Kingdom of the Manamotapa, bigger than the other three together. The Cafres call them Mocarangas, because they speak the Mocaranga Tongue. This Kingdom of Manamotapa is above two hundred leagues long, and as much broad. On the Northwest he confines with the Kingdom of Abutua (the King and the Kingdom have the same name) which they say, stretches through the Continent to the borders of Angola. I have seen in Sofala a Commoditie bought by a Portuguese in Manica, brought thither by the Cafres of Abutua, which had come from Portugal by the way of Angola. In this Kingdom of Abutua is much fine Gold, but the Naturals being far from the Portuguese, do not seek much after it, but rather to multiply their cattle of which they have abundance. On the East Manamotapa confines with the River Zambezi, which the Manamotapas callEmpando (from panduka), which signifies Rebelling against his King: for say they, were it not for the River, the Manamotapa would be Lord of the Country on the other side, to which he cannot pass his army for want of Boats. On the Southwest this Kingdom extends to the Ocean, into which it enters with a point of Land of ten or twelve leagues large, from the River Luabo, to that of Tendanculo. The rest of the Lands Southwards to which the River Inhanabane, and divided between the three Kings, which rebelled as is said: from Tendanculo to Sofala, the Quiteve reigns: thence to the South is the Kingdom of Sabia, under the Sedanda, who is Lord also in Botonga to the Region of Inhambane: within Land at the head of both these Kingdoms is Manica under the Chicanga, who is on the Northwest, some hundreds of leagues remote from the Sea. On the Northside of Manica, is Abutua, and on the Northeast is the Manamotapa, and to the South is a King called Biri. Those three Kings which rebelled are great, but the Quiteve is the greatest, and richest by trade with the Portuguese for Stuffes and Beads (which is the Cafres wealth) and his people are the strongest of the Mocarangas, and the best Archers, and most expert at the Azagay. Near Massapa is a great Hill, called Fura, whence may be discerned a great part of the Kingdom of Manamotapa: for which cause he will not suffer the Portuguese to go hither, that they should not covet his great Country and hidden Mines.
On the top of that Hill are yet standing pieces of old walls, and ancient ruins of lime and stone, which testify that there have been strong buildings … In all the Regions of Manamotapa are many mines of Gold; and particularly in Chiroro, where is the most and most fine. They gather it, as is said before, of Quiteve. It is pain of death for any Moor which discovers a Mine to take away any, besides his goods forfeited to the King. And if by chance any find a Mine, he is bound to cry out aloud, that some other Cafre may come to testify that he takes none: and both are to cover the Place with Earth, and set a great bough thereon, to give warning to other Cafres to avoid the place. For is they should come there, it would cost them their lives, although there be no proof that they took anything. This severity is used to keep the Mines from the knowledge of the Portuguese, lest covetous desire thereof might cause them to take away their Country. It is found in poulder like sand; in grains like beads; in pieces some smooth as if they were melted, others branched with snags, others mixed so with Earth, that the Earth being well washed from them, they remain like Honeycombs; those holes before full of red Earth, seeming as though they were also to be turned into Gold. As for that in stone, we have already spoken …
Although the Manamotapa be greater than those three mentioned, yet he has not other Vassal Kings or Tributaries to him: only some of his subjects called Encosses or Fumos, are great Lords, and haveTenants subject to them … (The Manamotapa) has many women, and the principal, which is most respected, called Mazarira, is his entire (meaning full) sister a great friend of the Portuguese, to whom they give the King his Curua, they give a present of clothes. No man speaks with the King or with his Wife, unless he brings a Present; the Portuguese give Beads, the Cafres Kine, or Goats, or Clothes: and when they are able to give nothing else, they bring a sack of Earth to acknowledge subjection, or a bundle of straw to thatch the King's Houses; for all the houses in Cafraria are thatched. The Manamotapa which now reigns, is called Mambo, and his subjects used to swear by his life, saying Xe Mambo (He Mambo); and when they speak with him, they say Xe dico (He Ndiko), as we, Please your Majesty. The King's Children are called Manamambo (Mwana wa Mambo). He has given leave to our Religious men in his Kingdoms, to convert and to build Churches; of which they have built three, to wit, Massapa, Luanze, Bukutu, where live many Portuguese … (p154163).
Theal, George McCall 1907. History and ethnography of Africa south of the Zambesi: From the settlement of the Portuguese at Sofala in September 1505 to the conquest of the Cape Colony by the British in September 1795 (vol. 1).
The legends of all the tribes of importance now living south of the Zambesi river, none of which can be more than a few centuries old, point to a distant northern occupation, and in some instances particulars are given which prove the traditions to be in that respect correct. For instance, the Barolong antiquaries assert that their ancestors … migrated from a country where there were great lakes and where at one time of the year shadows were cast towards the north. The Bakwena … have similar traditions (p.55).
Those along the southeastern coast are so closely related to each other in language and customs that they must have formed a community by themselves, or perhaps a single tribe, at no distant time, and some of them are known to have crossed the Zambesi only a little more than three centuries ago, .. This section of the Bantu came from some locality near the west coast, so that its route of migration crossed that of the Betshuana like the lines of the letter X (p.56).
The neverending strife in those distant regions caused first one clan and then another to flee; some made their way southward into the Rhodesia of our day, others in successive bands migrated in a southwesterly direction, crossed the Zambesi in the center of the continent, and then, with no opponents in front of them (except the) Bushmen, continued their journey along the eastern border of the Kalahari until they reached the Malopo. They were agriculturalists as well as breeders of oxen, sheep, goats, and poultry, and therefore were only able to migrate slowly. So horde after horde came down, pausing perhaps for a couple of generations at stations on the route, and then resuming a southward march (p.56).
It is uncertain what tribes first settled in the territory now termed Rhodesia and in the belt of land between it and the Indian sea. The Makalanga found there at the beginning of the sixteenth century were almost certainly recent immigrants, as their dialect did not differ much from that of a horde which came down from the north about the close of the eighteenth century [a reference to the Mashona who settled around Salisbury], but they must have been preceded by others, because the Arabs would not have formed trading settlements along the coast at a much earlier date if the country inland had been occupied only by Bushmen. Their predecessors may have been entirely exterminated, or, what is more likely, the young females may have been incorporated with the invading conquerers (p.56).
This part of South Africa was therefore in all probability the first occupied by Bantu, and it is even possible that the Bakalahari or the Leghoyas (Lekgoya), must have been driven out of it by the Makalanga. All this is uncertain, and as our persent knowledge may one day be vastly increased by the discovery and publication of Arabic records (p.5657).
The first immigrants or pioneers now living in South Africa were the ancestors of the people termed the Bakalahari and the Balala, followed by the Batlapin and Barolong. After the Barolong other tribes of the same family came down, notably the Bakwena, and then the Bavenda group of tribes, who arrived on the southern bank of the Limpopo about the close of the seventeenth or the beginning of the eighteenth century. According to their own traditions they migrated from the lower Congo basin, but there is sufficient evidence in their language and their customs to prove that they do not belong to the western branch of the Bantu race. Their affinities with the Bakwena group are in many respects so close that they must have separated from them at no very remote time, and it is impossible to doubt that they were first driven to the lower Congo basin from some region far to the east. The scattering of the remnants of tribes in the destructive wars towards the close of the sixteenth century, as related in records of the Portuguese on the Zambesi, must have been in every direction, east, west, north, and south, just as in the dispersion caused by Tshaka (p.5760).
It is not improbable that these people were the same as those termed by the Portuguese Cabires, who laid waste the territory between the Zambesi and the Limpopo soon after the Abambo and some of the Amazimba passed through it. This is mere conjencture, however, for there are no means of tracing either the origin or the fate of those Cabires who were so destructive to the Makalanga. If they and the Bavenda were the same, they must have roamed about the southern portion of what is now Mashonaland for many years before crossing the Limpopo. According to their traditions, the Makalanga were subject to the greatest of their chiefs, which seems to point in that direction. Before the wars of Tshaka the Bavenda occupied the whole of what is now the district of Zoutpansberg. [c.f. Masola, this must be a reference to the invasion of the Venda armies under Nitjasike. Also c.f. Monica and Thompson – The Oxford History of South Africa, in their reference of the Venda coming from VhuKalanga] (p.6061).
Account of the Makalanga and entrance of the Barozwi (ancestors of the Mashona into Makalangaland) In 1505, when the Portuguese formed their first settlement on the southeastern coast, the Makalanga tribe occupied the territory now termed Rhodesia and the seaboard between the Zambesi and the Sabi rivers. Before the commencement of the eighteenth century that tribe was broken up by wars, … and about that time a considerable immigration began to set in from the north. The newcomers were not very distantly related to the former occupants, as they spoke a dialect of a common language, which shows that the Makalanga themselves must have migrated from the north very recently. These immigrants, who were the ancestors of the people now called by Europeans Mashona, came down from some locality west of Lake Tanganyika in little parties, not in one great horde.
The first to arrive was a clan under a chief named Sakavunza, who settled at a place near the town of Salisbury (NB – this is the coming of the Barozwi [ancestors of the Mashona proper, i.e., the Zezuru] into modernday Zimbabwe, at least six generations or 300 years after the Kalanga, who were found by the Portuguese in the early 1500s, had been in the land, possibly from as early as 1000 A.D. c.f. this with Bent's assertion that he found a tribe different from the Makalanga in the area around fort Salisbury in his 1891 exploration of the ruins of Zimbabwe).
The details of this immigration were not placed on record by any of the Portuguese in the country, who merely noticed that there was a constant swirl of barbarians, plundering and destroying, and replacing once another; and when recent investigators, like Mr. R. N. Hall, of Zimbabwe, and Mr. W. S. Taberer, the government commissioner, endeavored to gather the particulars from the descendants of the immigrants, it was found impossible to obtain more accurate information from them concerning the events of distant times than the general fact that their ancestors came down from the north about two centuries ago (early 1700s – this has a thorough bearing on modern Shona assertions that it was the Karanga/Shona who built Great Zimbabwe, which is centuries older than their immigration into Zimbabwe. It is also interesting to note that the Makalanga, who have been in the land much earlier, do not make any attempt whatsoever to claim that they built the Zimbabwe ruins. This shall be a major chapter of my book setting forth thorough arguments on the ruins of Zimbabwe and the implications for Zimbabwean history and politics). Messrs. Hall, Taberer, and other inquirers state that their proper designation is Baroswi, or Barotsi (the Rozwi), and that they constitute a very large proportion of the population of what is termed Mashonaland at the present day (p.63).
The larger number of them settled in the territory now termed Matabeleland, where they remained until 1834, when Moselekatse began to send raiding parties in their direction … The unfortunate Makalanga, who had suffered terribly under the iron rod of the Angoni and the Matshangana, were then still further crushed until they and the Baroswi alike were brought under subjection by the Matabele (p.63).
After their arrival in the territory south of the Zambesi the Baroswi not only carried on war against the earlier inhabitants, but among themselves one clan was constantly pillaging another, so that discord and strife were perpetual. There was no paramount power over all, every chief who was strong enough to hold his own being absolutely independent of every other [NB. This proves beyond doubt that the Shona empire is nothing but an imaginary empire that never existed in history] (p.6363). Clans of the Baroswi family continued to migrate from the distant north into the territory that is now Rhodesia until the close of the eighteenth century. In some respects, though not in any matters of importance, they differed from the earlier Bantu immigrants … They differ from the Makalanga in personal appearance, having coarser features and being blacker in colour and somewhat stouter in build.
There is no other tribe in South Africa which has so many individuals bearing traces of Asiatic blood as the Makalanga, which is due to the long continuance of Arab intercourse with them in past times. All who have dealings with them state that, though now spiritless and degraded from constant strife and oppression during more than two centuries, they posses greater latent power of advancement, especially in mechanical arts, than any other Bantu in the country (p.6466). When the European fort and trading station at Sofala was formed in 1505 the predominant people in the country between the rivers Sabi and Zambesi were the Mokaranga as termed by the Portuguese, or Makalanga as pronounced by themselves, a word with means the people of the sun (Note: Though the word Makalanga or Makaranga is now always taken to mean people of the sun, that cannot have been its early signification. The sun is called ilanga in many of the coast dialects, but not in Tshikalanga, in which the words used are izhuba and izwari. If ilanga had been used in ancient times the preposition ka would not have been inserted. The chief under whom the tribe was formed have been named Karanga [actually Kalanga – c.f. Masola] – p.313). This tribe occupied territory extending from the shore of the west, but just how far it is impossible to say. Along the southern bank of the Zambesi and scattered here and there on the sea coast were clans that were not Makalanga by blood, and who were independent of each other. South of the Sabi river lived a tribe named the Batonga (NB. This is not reference to the Matonga of the Zambesi Valley, but a different group of people, otherwise referred to as the Tsonga; see Junod, The Life of a South African Tribe, for details on these people. In p. 26 of his book Junod points out that these people claim descent from the Makalanga, and similarities in the languages doubtless bears testimony to this. The Venda, with a language closely related to Kalanga, also claim affinity with the Makalanga), whose outposts extended beyond Cape Correntes (p.291).
There are people of this name in various parts of South Africa still, but it does not follow that they are descended from the Batonga of the sixteenth century. The country has often been swept by war since that time, and of the ancient communities many have been absolutely destroyed, while others have been dispersed and reorganized quite differently. There is not a single tribe in South Africa today that bears the same title, has the same relative power, and occupies the same ground, as its ancestors four hundred years ago. The people we call Mashona are indeed descended from the Makalanga of early Portuguese days, and they preserve their old name and part of their old country, but the contrast between their children and that of the tribe in the period of its greatness is striking. Discord, subjection, and merciless treatment from conquerers have destroyed most of what was good in their fathers (p.291292).
The Kalanga Empire of Monomotapa and its geographical extent
This tribe – the Makalanga or Makaranga, the l and r being interchangeable – was the one with which the Portuguese in the territory south of the Zambesi had most to do. Its paramount chief was called by them the monomotapa, which word, their writers state, meant emperor, but it seems to have been unknown in the dialect spoken by the tribe itself. In the dialects of some other Bantu communities, however, it means ruler or possessor of the mountain as a stronghold or holy place, and from some of them the Portuguese may have adopted it. That at Kilwa it could have been used as lord of some mountain of note is certain from the fact that a Portuguese writer, in relating the exploits of a chief whose name or title was Munyamonge, says that word meant master of the world, and his statement is perfectly correct, for it is literally lord of all (p.293).
To the Makalanga of the present day the word monomotapa is entirely unknown, and a great many words in their dialect differ so much from those used by other South African tribes to signify the same things that in it such a name would have no meaning at all. Instead of mong or mone for ruler, as in the Sesuto monemotse, chief of the village, the Tshikalanga word is she. Instead of thaba or intaba, a mountain, as used by nearly all other Bantu tribes in South Africa, the Makalanga say igomo (another word that has since changed again to dombo). These words may not have been in use by their ancestors four hundred years ago, but some trace of the title monomotapa, which was retained by the Portuguese to a date more than two centuries later, would still probably remain if it had ever been employed by the Makalanga themselves (I speculate that the reason for this is that the Portuguese probably misunderstood when the Makalanga used the word or sentence nhu unotapa [monomotapa] or bano'o mutapa [benomotapa]. c.f. Dr Carl Peters who states that it is possible that the word monomotapa might not at all have been a Kalanga word, and could have been employed by other peoples who were not Makalanga to refer to the Kalanga chief, just as a German might refer to the Emperor of China or theTsar of Russia as a Kaiser, employing the German designation. Also c.f. the Rev. G. Cullen of the London Missionary Society who labored in BulilimaMangwe for many years who says that this word could have been a phrase that was misunderstood by the Portuguese when the Makalanga were speaking of mono na manata (monomotapa) pa nahe; or bano namata (benemotapa) pana he, i.e., visiting the chief. Dr Theal observes that the Portuguese were not very careful in rendering Bantu words, being not aware of the rules of philology and phonetics that govern languages) (p.292).
The great place, or residence of the monomotapa, was close to the mountain Fura, now Mount Darwin, which, as long as he could prevent it, he would not permit a Portuguese to ascend, probably from some superstition connected with it, though they believed that it was because he did not wish them to have a view over as much of his country as could be seen from its top. The Bantu, when going to the great place, most likely used the expression going to the mountain, for the Portuguese soon began to employ the words a serra in that sense, without especially defining what mountain was meant. In our own time one of the titles of the Basuto chief Moshesh was lord of the mountain, owing to his possession of the celebrated stronghold Thaba Bosigo, and the Kalanga chief probably had his title of monomotapa given to him by other tribes from his possession of Mount Fura [this is likely to be true if he was given the name to mean slave master]. Much of this is merely conjecture, but nothing absolutely certain can now be ascertained from old records or books, or from the Makalanga of the present day, concerning the word monomotapa. When, or whatever manner it came into use, the Portuguese employed it to signify the paramount or great chief of the Kalanga tribe, and applied it to all who in succession held that office (p.292293).
Some interest is attached to this word Monomotapa, inasmuch as it was placed on maps of the day as if it was the name of a territory, not the title of a ruler, and soon it was applied to the entire region from the Zambesi to the mouth of the Fish River (in the Transvaal region, now Limpopo and Free State Provinces). Geographers, who knew nothing of the country, wrote the word upon their charts, and one copied another until the belief became general that a people far more advanced in civilization, and governed by a mighty emperor, occupied the whole of SouthEastern Africa. Then the towns were marked on the chart, and rivers were traced upon it, and men of the highest standing in science lent their names to the fraud, believing it to be true, until a standard map of the middle of the seventeenth century was as misleading as it was possible to make it. Readers of Portuguese histories must have known this, but no one rectified the error, because no one could substitute what was really correct. And even in recent years educated men have asked what have become of the mysterious empire of Monomotapa, a question that can be so easily answered by reading the books of De Barros, De Couto, and Dos Santos, and analyzing the Tshikalanga words which they repeat. Such an empire never existed.
The foundation upon which imagination constructed it was nothing more than a Bantu tribe (see Posselt's comment on this statement of Theal below). The error arose mainly from the use of words emperor, king, and prince to represent African chiefs, a mistake, however, which was not confined to the Portuguese, for it pervades a good deal of English literature of the nineteenth century, where it has done infinitely more to mislead readers than those expressions ever did in times gone by (p.293294).
The Kalanga tribe was larger and occupied a much greater extent of territory than any now existing in South Africa. It was held together by the same means as the others, that is principally by the religious awe with which the paramount chief was regarded, as representing in his person the might spirits that were feared and worshiped. There was always the danger of a disputed succession, however, when it might not be certain which of two or more individuals was nearest to the line of descent and therefore the one to whom fealty was due. How long the tribe had existed before the Portuguese became acquainted with it, and whether it had attained its greatness by growth or conquest, cannot be ascertained, but it cannot have occupied the territory south of the Zambesi more than two or three centuries at the utmost, and very shortly afterwards it was broken into several independent communities (p.294).
The tribe belonged to that section of the Bantu family which in general occupies the interior of the country. It was divided into a great number of clans, each under its own chief, and although all of these acknowledged the monomotapa a their superior in rank, the distant clans, even with the religious bond of union in full force, were very loosely connected with the central government. Thus those near the coast were found by the Portuguese making war on their own account, and acting otherwise in a manner that among Europeans would be regarded as indicating perfect independence. There was one peculiar custom, however, that prevented them from forgetting their dependence upon the paramount chief. Each year at a certain stage of the crops a command was sent throughout the country that when the next knew moon appeared all the fires were to be put out, and they could only be lit again from the spreading one kindled by the monomotapa himself (p.294295).
The Kalanga Asiatic blood, industries and religious system
The Makalanga had developed their religious system and their industries more highly than any of the other tribes of Southern or Eastern Africa. Of all the Bantu they had the largest proportion of Asiatic blood in their veins, which will account for their mental and mechanical superiority. Almost at first sight the Europeans observed that they were in every respect more intelligent than the blacker tribes along the Mozambique coast. Their skulls more nearly approached those of Europeans in shape, many of them had the high nose, thin lips, and the general features of the people of SouthWestern Asia. Even their hands and feet were in numerous instances small and wellshaped, unlike those of ordinary blacks, which are large and coarse. Their appearance thus indicated a strong infusion of foreign blood, though not sufficient to denationalize them as Bantu. That blood may not have been Arab alone, it is likely that some was Persian, and possibly some Indian. But they were neither so robust nor so courageous as many of their neighbors. Like their near kindred the Basuto and Bapedi of today, they were capable of making a vigorous defense in mountain strongholds, but were disinclined to carry on aggressive warfare, and could not stand against an equal number of men of a coast tribe in the open field. Their language was regarded by the Christians as being pleasanter than Arabic to the ear (p.295).
The breakup of the Makalangala Empire When the Portuguese in 1505 first came in close contact with the Makalanga, the tribe had been engaged in civil war for twelve or thirteen years, and was in a very unsettled condition. A monomotapa, Mokomba by name, had made a favorite of the chief Tshikanga, one of his distant relatives, who was hereditary head of the powerful clan which occupied the district of Manika. Some other chiefs became jealous of the privileges conferred upon this man, and took advantage of his absence on one occasion to instill in the monomotapa's mind that he was a sorcerer and was compassing the death of his benefactor.
Thereupon the monomotapa sent him poison to drink, but instead of obeying, he made the offer of a large number of cattle for his life. The offer was declined, and then in despair he collected his followers, made a quick march to the great place, surprised Mokomba, and killed him (p.295296).
Tshikanga then assumed the government of the tribe. He endeavored to exterminate the family of his predecessor, and actually put twentyone of Mokomba's children to death. Only one young man escaped. After four years' exile, this one, whose name is variously given as Kesarinuto or Kesarimyo, returned and collected a force which defeated the usurping monomotapa's army. Tshikanga then took the field himself, adherents gathered on both sides, and a battle was fought which continued for three days and a half. On the fourth day Tshikanga was killed, when his army was dispersed, and Kesarimyo became monomotapa. But Tshikanga's son would not submit, and with his ancestral clan kept possession of the Manika district, and carried on the war. To this circumstance the Portuguese attributed the small quantity of gold that was brought to Sofala for sale from the interior of the country.
In course of time the war was reduced to a permanent feud, Tshikanga's clan became an independent tribe, and Manika was lost to the monomotapa [I think thus was founded the modernday Manyika as descendants of the Kalanga, probably with a heavy dose of Rozwi, hence Shona blood] (p. 296).
For many years after the occupation of Sofala the Portuguese lived on fairly good terms with the
Makalanga, and after the failure to drive them from the fort in Isuf's time (the 1530s) no attempt was made to expel them from the country. They paid subsidies in the form of presents to the nearest chiefs