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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:A martyr cult as a reflection on changes in production: the case of the lower shire valley, 1590-1622 A.D.
Author:Schoffeleers, MatthewISNI
Periodical:African Perspectives
Geographic term:Malawi
Lundu polity
African religions
Abstract:Historical reconstruction, derived partly from oral tradition and present-day rituals and myths, of some of the events and processes which may have contributed to the rise of the Lundu state in South Malawi in the late sixteenth century and its subjection in 1622. The central figure in the oral histories is a person known as Mbona, reportedly killed by the first paramount, who subsequently became the object of cultic veneration. The stories about his life and death originated in connection with the rise of the Lundu state and they reflect the reaction of the commonalty to that event. The article itself consists of three parts which are successively concerned with an account of the Mbona cult as it operates today, the political and economic history of the Lower Shire Valley around 1600, and a genetical interpretation of the cult in terms of that history. Map, notes, ref.