Soapstone carvings of the Zimbabwe bird. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: Great Zimbabwe state (Kingdom): Religous organisation of the Great Zimbabwe State

  • The Great Zimbabwe people were very religious
  • Spirit mediums of the state were chosen from any class and this fostered unity among the people
  • The Hungwe bird (fish eagle/Bateleur eagle) was associated the respect and worship of the king’s personal ancestors or mudzimu or national ancestors called mhondoro
  • The state formed religious and political alliance with the Dziva-Hungwe people
  • The Conical Tower was the centre of religious activities
  • The Great Zimbabwe people believed in the supreme God whom they called Mwari
  • The mhondoros and svikiros were mediators between Mwari and the people
  • The spirit mediums and Mwari were believed to be responsible for the supernatural world were natural disasters like droughts, floods and other calamities
  • People therefore performed appeasing ceremonies so as ask for protection from their ancestors
  • There was an altar in the eastern temple and soapstone used for religious rituals
  • The temple is also believed to have housed spirit mediums
  • The people believed in life after death
  • Dead people were buried with belongings they would use in the after life
  • The Great Zimbabwe people performed ceremonies like; rainmaking, reincarnation or bringing back the dead and hunting where beer was brewed and kings and spirit mediums officiated

To access more topics go to the History Notes page.

Quick NetOne, Econet, And Telecel Airtime Recharge