The Shona and Their Neighbours

D. N. Beach


  • Wiley
  • Oxford
  • 1994
  • English
  • Hardcover
  • 256 pages


The Shona peoples of Africa are known to most non-Africans as the builders of the massively impressive fourteenth-century stone walls of Great Zimbabwe and creators of the great Mutapa state encountered by the Portuguese traders in the sixteenth century. In the last century they waged war against their neighbours, the Ndebele, and against the white settlers who created Rhodesia; today they form the majority of the population of modern Zimbabwe, one of the most economically successful of contemporary African states, though now facing most of the twentieth century's potentially catastrophic social and environmental problems. David Beach has brought to bear a lifetime's research in his study of the Shona and their neighbours the Ndebele, Gaza Nguni and others.


This book will be most useful to those who already know something of Zimbabwean history, are confused by what they know, and need to have things straightened out. To them it will be a godsend, presenting the latest archaeological and linguistic material clearly and arguing its own propositions vigorously. - Amazon


David Norman Beach was a Zimbabwean historian. He worked at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the University of Zimbabwe and pioneered the documentation of oral traditions in Zimbabwe. He died in 1999.