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Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027243

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027243.001.0001

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The Professoriate of the Hunt and the Tsetse Fly

The Professoriate of the Hunt and the Tsetse Fly

Chapter:
(p.125) 5 The Professoriate of the Hunt and the Tsetse Fly
Source:
Transient Workspaces
Author(s):

Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262027243.003.0007

This chapter examines how European colonizers under siege from the deadly tsetse fly in Africa turned to the professoriate of the hunt in the absence of any remedies of their own. Until the appearance of trypanosomiasis drugs and residual insecticides in the late 1950s, there was no other method besides “game destruction” to starve the tsetse fly and deny it its primary vehicle for mobility: big forest animals. Similarly, in the absence of ready-made technological solutions to tropical pests and pestilence, Rhodesian settlers turned to African hunters and deployed them as a weapon of tsetse control. In this particular case, the state employed the hombarume or maphisa who lived nearest the tsetse-infested areas, arming them with guns and sending them into the forest. The more animals these hunters slaughtered, the more they would be rewarded. In deferring to the vahloti and availing them the space, animals, and guns, the state became magocha, a rich vein of meat supply to the village.

Keywords:   tsetse fly, European colonizers, Africa, professoriate of the hunt, trypanosomiasis, forest animals, Rhodesia, African hunters, guns, magocha

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