ZIMSEC O Level History Notes: The Mutapa State (Kingdom): Trade in the Mutapa State
- Three types of trade were done in the Mutapa state
- That is, internal trade with the locals,
- inter-regional trade with other states like the Ndebele and Guruuswa and
- foreign trade with the Arabs and later the Portuguese.
- This type of trade was done between producers of different goods in the state
- Trade was in exchange of goods like carved wood, baskets, iron tools, minerals and game
- In drought instances grains and cattle were traded
- It was done with areas such as Ingobe, Illede, Guruuswa and in the 19th century with the Ndebele.
- The king also exported goods for trade like machira to the Maravi and silk to the Tonga and the Torwa
- Common items traded included salt and copper
- It was done with far of people like Muslims and the Zambezi was used as a route to go to the Mutapa state.
- The Mutapa people also traded with the Portuguese based at Sofala and Mozambique and travelled through Manicaland
- These two groups competed for Mutapa gold and ivory
- The Mutapas controlled trade
- Trading places called feiras were established at Mukaranga and Manyika
- During the 16th and early 17th centuries the Musapa was the most important feira
- During the late 17th century Dambarare became the most important feira
- Other trade centres included Manzovo, Ruhanje, Chipiriviri, Matafunga, Chitomborwizi, Mahaka, Maramuka, Hwanga, Makaka, Vumba, Masekesa, Amangwa, Mutare, Maungwe, Uteve, Nyaranga and Sembaza
- Portuguese traded cloths, beads and ceramics in these feiras through their vashambadzi for gold, ivory and other minerals
- Foreigners interested in trading had to pay a tax called curva to the Mutapa through the captain of the gates
- The captain of the gates was responsible for guarding against foreigners entering into the Munhumutapa court or any parts of the state without his permission
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