'Shun the white man's crop': shangwe grievances, religious leaders and cotton cultivation in north-western Zimbabwe

S. Maravanyika

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Some scholars have characterised colonial African history as a continuous ‘dialogue between colonial officials and the African societies they sought to dominate’.1 A major challenge the colonial system posed to itself was the control over ‘local ritual authority’.2 Colonial functionaries, in concert with Christian missionaries, sought to subjugate traditional religion and traditional religious leaders by reducing their authority and influence over their communities. This was because local religious traditions were oftentimes perceived to delay and impede both the spread of Christian values and formalisation and entrenchment of the preferred colonial economic mode of state formation. African agriculture was a major site of struggle in this process. Colonial officials perceived that traditional religion undermined ‘civilised, scientific agriculture’ while, on the contrary, the state saw a positive link between Christian teaching and African productivity and therefore growth and expansion of the colonial economy.3
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLocal subversions of colonial cultures: commodities and anti-commodities in global history
EditorsS. Hazareesingh, H. Maat
Place of PublicationLondon
Pages187-209
Number of pages223
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameCambridge imperial and post-colonial studies series
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd

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Maravanyika, S. (2016). 'Shun the white man's crop': shangwe grievances, religious leaders and cotton cultivation in north-western Zimbabwe. In S. Hazareesingh, & H. Maat (Eds.), Local subversions of colonial cultures: commodities and anti-commodities in global history (pp. 187-209). (Cambridge imperial and post-colonial studies series). London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137381101_10