Handel, productie, ideologie en landschap: een interdisciplinair onderzoek naar de identiteit van de Lundu Staat (1500-1870 NC) Noord Zambesia (Malawi)
05 / 2002 - 05 / 2006
Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (NWO)
This project seeks to understand the identity of the Lundu State, by means of an interdisciplinary study of the internal power dynamics of this important Maravi Kingdom in relation to the external forces of trade, warfare and slaving in its ecological setting. Current historiographies, based on historical documents and oral traditions, emphasize either trade, migration, warfare, tribute or drought as sole cause for the emergence and sustenance of the Lundu state. While these potential factors will be investigated and revaluated in conjunction, the additional factor of ideological legitimisation will be addressed building on Schoffeleers' seminal work on the topic. The existing data sets are complemented with archaeological examination of the two rivalling Lundu capitals, at Mbewe ya Mitengo and Mbewe ya Kumadzi, who peaked in the seventeenth and early to mid nineteenth century respectively. The associated ritual centres, the sacred groves at Khulubvi and Thyolo (Changata), are further loci of archaeological study. The competing nature of the relation between the two Lundu claimants provide an excellent background for the study of power dialectics both in terms of inter-elite relations and elite-commoner relations in the face of external pressure. Additional surveys and limited excavation will supplement the data recovered from these four sites.