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Domination, development, and drought: A study of two Chikunda settlements in Dande, Zambesi Valley, Zimbabwe.

Claudio, Fernanda Maria (2005) Domination, development, and drought: A study of two Chikunda settlements in Dande, Zambesi Valley, Zimbabwe. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

The principle theme of this study is an examination of the relationship between political and economic domination, and development and drought in the Dande area of the Zambesi Valley, Zimbabwe. To this end, two settlements, a centralised polity and an area of shallow and dispersed lineages, were researched and compared. While the populations of these areas comprised different clans and lineages, particular attention is paid to the Chikunda group whose dominant clan in Dande, the marunga rosario andrade, controlled a longstanding centralised chieftaincy. Political process in Dande was until the 1990s viewed as the performance of two forms of chieftaincy, autochthonous and conquering. Autochthonous chiefs were believed to be supported by the people and to act in benevolent ways, while conquering chiefs were expected to act in the interests of their own clan and lineage. Particular attention is paid to the issue of chieftaincy through an examination of the formation of centralised Chikunda polities which derived from a Portuguese land tenure system. Accounts of marunga conquest of Dande and the Chapoto chieftaincy of the 1990s are examined with regard to domination. In comparison, the importance of land spirits in the discourse of chieftaincy is highlighted in terms of centralised and decentralised polities. While the significance of chieftaincy as a political discourse in Dande was high, during the 1990s the introduction of state policies of structural adjustment and development altered political and economic practices. Serious drought in 1991-92 exacerbated longstanding inter-generational conflict which led to a split of outlook on issues of kinship, political organisation, and livelihood practices. The occurrence of serious drought and associated hunger and illness, coupled with social pressures brought by development, caused local populations to express the belief that the Zimbabwean state, which had been installed through the will of the people, was no longer for the people. The trajectory of the Zimbabwean state from its role as autochthonous ruler to that of conqueror in little over a decade after Independence is examined through discussion of land spirit ceremonies performed during and after drought.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Anthropology, Cultural, Political Science, General, Sub Saharan Africa Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/2063

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