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The Mobile WorkshopThe Tsetse Fly and African Knowledge Production$
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Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780262535021

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262535021.001.0001

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Translation into Science and Policy

Translation into Science and Policy

(p.49) 2 Translation into Science and Policy
The Mobile Workshop

Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga

The MIT Press

This chapter explores the processes of translation through which ruzivo rwevatema (knowledge of black people) entered the pantheon of ruzivo rwevarungu (knowledge of varungu or vachana) and, later, state tsetse and trypanosomiasis control and research policy. The chapter first examines European travelogues, which show that such ruzivo and practices were the foundation of what became science and means and ways of tsetse control. It suggests that certain ruzivo rwevatema and practices formed the foundations of what vachana then called science, even while dismissing vatema as only good at creating and peddling myths and legends. Empirically, the specific stratagems that vachana built on were controlled moto (fire), specifically, kupisa sora or burning grass, forest clearance, prophylactic settlement, erecting buffer zones, cleansing chambers, and tsetse gates. The concept of cleansing is used in the chidzimbahwe sense of kuchenura, from the root word chena (clean, white), in contradistinction to tsvina (dirt) or chakasviba (dark).

Keywords:   translation, ruzivo rwevatema, ruzivo rwevarungu, tsetse fly, fire, vachana

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