ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: The Mutapa State (Kingdom): Military of the Mutapa Organisation of the Mutapa State
- The Mutapa did not have a standing army
- The army was mobilized from peasants when there was an emergency
- The war council in the Mutapa state was known as Dare ReHondo
- It would convene in times of war and give direction to the army
- The council was chaired by the Munhumutapa (king)
- If the council decided to declare war, the Muchinda (prince of royal blood) would be made head of the army
- Each war regiment in the Mutapa state had its own banner/badge representing an animal figure such as elephants, oxen and other animals
- The soldiers were gathered together by a war cry
- Evidence from oral tradition suggest that an army of around 3000 or 5000 soldiers would be psychologically prepared a n’anga (witch doctor) for battle
- The Mutapa would use magic to instill discipline and courage in the army
- They would receive treatment and war drums were sounded enough to frighten the enemy with drums beating in a different way.
- The army was further divided into battalions of about 200-500 men under a field commander
- Documented field commanders included:
- Vasika Matemane among others
- The Mutapa army used the cow horn formation which they called muromo to encircle the enemy
- The army preferred to fight in the open so no ambushes occurred
- They never fought at night but sometimes they would attack at dawn
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