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Kingdom of Mutapa

From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The kingdom of Mutapa was a state that existed in Africa. It was made of parts of modern-day Zimbabwe, and the middle part of Mozambique. Probably it was most successful in the 13th to the 15th century. The Portugese were th e first to come to the southern parts of Africa. When they did, the kingdom had alreadysplit into smaller parts. As the people didn't use writing, most of what is known is from ruins, and archeological sites. Great Zimbabwe is probably the best known of these. Other than that, there are many oral traditions about its rulers.

How the kingdom was organized in detail is unclear. The oral traditions that are there, tell that there was a great focus on the king, as a person. This points to some king of absolutism. Likely, the king was sacred, and seen as god. This is typical for early African states, and can also be observed elsewhere in the region.

They used canals for irrigation. These canals are open ditches alongside the mountain hills. There's a lot of engineering which keeps the water flowing. Both of these point to a society which was higlhly organised, and able recruit many workers, in a short time.

The kingdom likely had two periods: in the first, Great Zimbabwe was built, and was the center of economic activity. In a second period, there were other centers as well.