ISBN 9780869221884
Pages 400
Dimensions 216 x 140 mm
Illustrations B/W Illustrations and Maps
Published 1976
Publisher Mambo Press, Zimbabwe
Format Paperback

The Shona Peoples

An Ethnology of the Contemporary Shona, with Special Reference to their Religion

by Michael Bourdillon

Newly reissued, this book is still regarded as one of the best synthesis of ethnographic research undertaken amongst the Shona people, taking indigenous religion and culture as a starting point.

The author, a renowned anthropologist and sociologist of Zimbabwe, examines the historical background and sources of Shona history from the fifteenth century. He details, from anthropological perspectives, kinship and village organisation including patrilineal kinship, Shona marriage and the position of women in Shona society. The author explores the subsistence and cash economies of the Shona peoples, their contribution to commercial farming, their use of land, and their function as a migrant labour force. Further sections focus on chiefship, courts; and interpretations of sickness, personal misfortune, witchcraft, death and the afterlife. The final sections of the book consider the functions of traditional religion at family and tribal levels; the interface between traditional and new religions; and rural and urban influences, amongst the Shona people.

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About the Author

Michael Bourdillon

Michael Bourdillon is a Professor of the Department of Sociology, University of Zimbabwe. He is directly involved in organisations dedicated to helping street children, and has written widely on sociology topics such as working children and rural livelihoods in Zimbabwe. Michael Bourdillon is a Professor of the Department of Sociology, University of Zimbabwe. He is directly involved in organisations dedicated to helping street children, and has written widely on sociology topics such as working children and rural livelihoods in Zimbabwe.

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