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PROPER NAME: Zimbabwa
RULER: Menetapa (King) Alatanga
GOVERNMENT: Tribute Kingdom
MAJOR TOWNS: Zimbabwa -100,000; Mongoshi – 53,000; Tekere – 80,000; Solafa (Kiswala) – 20,000
IMPORTS: Fabrics; exotic fruts; porcelain; spices
EXPORTS: Wootz (iron), gold, copper, bronze, granite; salt
TRADE: Kiswala, Matamba, Zambulu.
MILITARY: 15,000. The Zimbabwa army consists of Menetapa’s core army of 5,000 warriors supplemented by units sent by tribute kingdoms. Zimbabwa suffers little from intrusions mainly due to Watandu to the north and the mighty Amandala River to the west. The Menetapa seasonally leads incursions into Zambululand, but these attacks are more predatory than permanent, usually carried out to obtain cattle and slaves. The loose structure of the kingdom forces the Menetapa to focus most of his energies maintaining his control over his tributary kingdoms.
LANGUAGES: Bantu; Ki-Khanga (common tongue)
RELIGIONS: Animist (Ancestor worship; nature worship)
OVERVIEW: The Zimbabwa have cared little beyond the boundaries of their land, with the exception of Zambululand and Wandatu. With Zambululand, the object is plunder for cattle and wives. An excursion into Zambululand is also an opportunity for a warrior to be blooded without killing his own kin. In the case of Wandatu, the Zimbabwa mages have always desired this land, hoping that controlling it would mean controlling its power which they feel would make them as powerful as Fez Sorcerers. They know the dangers of entering the land, so they are always in search of adventurers brave enough (or foreigners foolish enough) to go into the land and bring back what they desire. Menetapa Alatanga of Zimbabwa has recently formed a kingdom among his quarrelling relatives, but it is a weak kingdom based on tribute. Under the influence of his chief sorceress Vumba, he seeks once and for all to claim Wandatu and the mystical power it possesses.
HISTORY: The Zimbabwans are descended of clans who fled Zambululand during the Mfecana. Fearful of pursuit, they took advantage of the natural stone outcroppings to create their fabled stone cities. Early cities like Zimbabwa were constructed by joining these huge boulders with hand built walls and gates. Later cities like Tekere were built completely by hand. Natural rivalries between the new clans resulted in smaller kingdoms springing up in this new land. The expansion continues until the clans encountered the enchanted forests of Wadantu.