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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ethics among the Shona
Author:Chimuka, Tarisayi A.
Periodical:Zambezia (ISSN 0379-0622)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Southern Africa
History and Exploration
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Philosophy, Psychology
Shona (African people)
Social values
External link:http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/africanjournals/html/itemdetail.cfm?recordID=1166
Abstract:This article points to the philosophical foundation of Shona ethics. It is a contribution towards the efforts of postcolonial African philosophers to shift emphasis from the dominant Eurocentric conception of human values to a pluralistic conception in which the cultures of other peoples are to be recognized as contributing to and enriching an understanding of humanity as a whole. The Shona of Zimbabwe in particular, and African people in general, have been presented as having a distorted humanity precisely because some Europeans were bent on undermining their cultures in the name of civilization. The article first examines existing scholarship on African cultures in general before analysing Michael Gelfand's work and his understanding of Shona values (1973). The article finally reconstructs the system of Shona values. Ethics as understood by the Shona people were hinged on 'hunhu' (commendable character). Moral virtues were built into conduct in order to promote the success and well-being of the community and consequently, the happiness of the citizens. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum.