Guns and Rain

Guerrillas and Spirit Mediums in Zimbabwe

David Lan



Almost every anti-colonial struggle in the 20th century was led by an army of guerrillas, and no such struggle has succeeded without cooperation between the guerrillas and the local peasantry. This book examines what such 'cooperation' meant in the context of Zimbabwe's war of independence between 1966 and 1980 when hundreds of thousands of peasants provided the guerrillas with practical help and support. But throughout the country scores of spirit mediums also gave active support to the resistance, and with their help the scale of the war expanded.


This book makes us understand an historical event of world importance, the liberation of Zimbabwe, from the point of view of ordinary people...It is not only a specific study of great brilliance but also a model which shows how anthropology can contribute to politics and history. — Maurice Bloch, London School of Economics


David Lan is a South African-born British playwright, theatre director and social anthropologist. He was appointed artistic director of the Young Vic theatre in London in 2000.