Rozwi Empire

Rozwi Empire

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Rozwi Empire

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The Rozwi Empire or Lozwi Empire (1684–1834) was established on the Zimbabwean Plateau by Changamire Dombo.


In 1693, Portuguese militia tried to take control of the gold trade in the interior of sub-saharan Africa by invading the Rozwi empire. The Rozwi were able to successfully defeat these attacks and maintain their control of the gold mines until their empire collapsed. The Rozwi were led by Changamire Dombo, whose power was based in Butua in the southwest of sub-Saharan Africa. The Rozwi were formed from several Shona states that dominated the plateau of present-day Zimbabwe at the time. They drove the Portuguese off the central plateau, and the Europeans retained only a nominal presence at one of the fairs in the eastern highlands.

Changamire brought the whole of present-day Zimbabwe under his control, forming a polity that became known as the Rozwi Empire. This fierce tribe of warriors was to be known as the Rozvi or baLozwi people. They established their capital at Danamombe, also known as Dhlo-Dhlo (the Ndebele name).

Many sources see the Rozvi not as a recovering segment of the Mutapa people, but in fact a people in its own right emerging under the wing of the Mutapa (compare the rise of the Khumalo from under the Zulu nation). The administrative power of the Mutapa began to fall to control the whole empire, and tributaries began to exert more independence.

A leader of the people of guruuswa, given the title...
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