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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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The Coming of the Gun

The Coming of the Gun

(p.71) 3 The Coming of the Gun
Transient Workspaces

Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga

The MIT Press

This chapter focuses on Africa's professoriate of the hunt, a spiritually guided institution and practice whose central feature was innovation and technology and through which maTshangana and vaShona—the two ethnolinguistic groups that live in the southern end of the Mozambique-Zimbabwe border region—interpreted incoming things such as the gun. The gun arrived in southern Africa around 1500 with the Portuguese interest in Angola, Mozambique, and the Zimbabwe plateau. Some societies eschewed guns for their own indigenous hunting and defensive equipment, notably bows, arrows, and poisons. In yet other societies, guns were integrated into these indigenous hunting and fighting repertoires. MaTshangana and vaShona assigned new meaning and uses to the gun, even as they acquired new competences through interactions with it. This chapter examines the absence of the state—with all its signifiers and enforcers such as the police, army, and district administrators—and how this absence ushered in a republic of mobility.

Keywords:   professoriate of the hunt, Africa, innovation, technology, maTshangana, vaShona, guns, indigenous hunting, state, mobility

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