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Transient WorkspacesTechnologies of Everyday Innovation in Zimbabwe$
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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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PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use.date: 04 July 2022

Guided Mobility

Guided Mobility

(p.23) 1 Guided Mobility
Transient Workspaces

Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga

The MIT Press

This chapter examines technology from the perspective of vaShona philosophy of life as guided by ancestral spirits (vadzimu) and treats the forest as a sacred space. Using Shona praise poetry (prayers), proverbs, and registers, it proposes the concept of guided mobility to examine what technology might mean in a realm of ancestral spiritual sovereignty over the living. Investing philosophical and epistemological value in Shona knowledge, it traces the origins of ideas and practices that European colonists later appropriated as their own. To be able to navigate the forest required a specific understanding of the spiritual relationship among Mwari/Xikwembu (God), ancestral spirits, the living, the animal world, and indeed the trees, rivers, and mountains. As guided mobility, the hunt poses interesting questions on what constitutes technology under regimes of spirituality. In the way of life of vaShona, all mobility was guided mobility. The chapter also considers the epistemology of guided mobility and what it says about technology under sacred conditions.

Keywords:   technology, vaShona, philosophy of life, ancestral spirits, forest, sacred space, guided mobility, hunt, spirituality, epistemology

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