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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Carl Mauch and some Karanga chiefs around great Zimbabwe 1871-1872: re-considering the evidence
Author:Mazarire, Gerald ChikozhoISNI
Year:2013
Periodical:South African Historical Journal (ISSN 0258-2473)
Volume:65
Issue:3
Pages:337-364
Language:English
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
Subjects:Karanga
historiography
expeditions
About person:Carl Gottlieb Mauch (1837-1875)ISNI
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02582473.2013.768290
Abstract:The region around Great Zimbabwe was a theatre of considerable human traffic between c.1750-1850. The period coincided with the disintegration of the Rozvi 'empire', which resulted in the formation of dynasties that came to dominate the Karanga cluster. This process was still commonplace in the late nineteenth century and a few European visitors found a number of its prime role players still at work. Very few of them lived amongst the actors to become a part of the drama itself. The German expedition leader Carl Mauch (1837-1875), however, lived in the region in 1871-1872. In 1969, the National Archives of Rhodesia published his journals and diaries in English translation. These covered the period of his travels in the Transvaal and Zimbabwe between 1869 and 1872 and have attracted the attention of historians. The present paper offers a re-interpretation of Mauch's record of African society and politics around Great Zimbabwe. It argues that it must be appreciated in the wider context of its production, chiefly that his locations were determined on the basis of faulty readings of his geometric instruments and his unorthodox orthography of people and place names, while his account vacillated from fact to fiction depending on his mood or relations with the people around him. Drawing on this reassessment, the paper reconsiders the various historiographical interpretations made of Mauch's work in the history of the Karanga. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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