Historical Personalities & Issues

Compiled & Edited by Phillip True, Jr.

Chapter Thirteen

THE MONOMOTAPA EMPIRE AND KING MUTATO (1440)

In 1440, the empire of Monomotapa was under the leadership of the fierce and awesome King Mutato, or "Mutato the Great." His vast empire had been developed by Vakarang immigrants who were invaders. The Monomotapa Empire covered what is known today as Rhodesia, Kalahara, Mozambique, and into Transvaal in South Africa.

King Mutato established effective political rule, and promoted eco- nomic development and prosperity.

The Monomotapa used iron technology and allied crafts, long before the Christian era. With over 4000 active mines, and gold being the lead- ing export commodity, iron work was still highly regarded. The drive for excellence in everything produced was reflected in the artistic work throughout the empire.

The building of the temples and beautiful stone structures, rivaled the construction associated with the great pyramids in Egypt. The Monomotapa were great stonemasons and architects. According to records in stone, a highly developed civilization existed in South Africa, at the same time of the great Egyptian and Ethiopian era, in the North.

King Mutato mastered a plan to unite the Blacks throughout the entire Monomotapa Empire. Their enemies knew that if they could keep the Blacks fighting amongst themselves, they would be a divided people, lacking in power, and the enemy would have access to their wealth.

Mutato moved quickly to recruit, develop, and train armies, under the supervision of capable generals. Additional strategic leadership by Matope, Mutato's son, who came into power after Mutato's death, strengthened and unified Monomotapa. However, after Matope's death, Monomotapa swiftly declined, and the empire began to break up.


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