An early Portuguese map showing the Mutapa state

An early Portuguese map showing the Mutapa state. Image credit MediaWiki

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Mutapa State:Did the people of the Mutapa state benefit from the expansion of the state?

  • The expansion of the Mutapa state brought with it some benefits including:
  • Trade items from the conquered lands.
  • The people and chiefdoms of the conquered state paid tribute to the king who redistributed this wealth to the people during times of drought.
  • The state obtained new land for cultivation.
  • New mining concerns were found within the conquered lands.
  • These minerals were traded with the Portuguese who came into contact with the Mutapa because of the size of the state.
  • Gained more pastureland for their animals.
  • Gained more hunting grounds which mean more ivory and meat.

However the expansion also had its own drawbacks including:

  • The vast size of the state and paired with poor communication systems led to failure of the state as breakaway factions emerged.
  • Some vassal chiefs rebelled against the Mutapa and refused to pay tribute.
  • During succession disputes factions fought in civil wars as chiefs and sub-rulers chose sides.

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.