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The Shona Tribe in Kenya

The Shona speaking Zimbabwean people are a Bantu ethnic group native to Southern Africa, primarily Zimbabwe (where they form the majority of the population).

They have five major clans, and are adjacent to other groups with similar cultures and languages.

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During the 11th century, the Kalanga people formed kingdoms on the Zimbabwe plateau. Construction began on Great Zimbabwe, capital of the kingdom of Zimbabwe.

The Torwa dynasty ruled the kingdom of Butua, and the kingdom of Mutapa preceded the Rozvi Empire (which lasted into the 19th century).

Brother succeeded brother in the dynasties, leading to civil wars which were exploited by the Portuguese during the 16th century. The kings ruled a number of chiefs, sub-chiefs and headmen.

The kingdoms were replaced by new groups who moved onto the plateau. The Ndebele destroyed the Rozvi Empire during the 1830s; the Portuguese slowly eroded the kingdom of Mutapa, which extended to the Mozambique coast after it provided valued exports (particularly gold) for Swahili, Arab and East Asian traders.

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The British destroyed traditional power in 1890 and colonized the plateau of Rhodesia in 1890, and the Portuguese colonial government in Mozambique fought the remnants of the kingdom of Mutapa until 1902. The Shona people were also a part of the Bantu migration where they are one of the largest Bantu ethnic groups in sub Saharan Africa.

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