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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Peasants, Businessmen, and Moral Economy in the Chiwesha Reserve, Colonial Zimbabwe, 1930-1968
Authors:Bessant, LeslieISNI
Muringai, ElvisISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic terms:Zimbabwe
Great Britain
social change
communal lands
Economics and Trade
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
History and Exploration
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2636989
Abstract:This paper investigates how families in the Chiweshe Reserve in colonial Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia) expanded and transformed their discourse on 'moral economy' to try to accommodate the material changes - such as ox-drawn ploughs and luxuries like bread and sugar - that came with colonialism. Through their discourse they worked at understanding the 'proper' relationships between rich and poor, among families, and within villages. The paper traces changes and disruptions in this discourse by exploring the decline of communal work parties ('nhimbe' or 'hoka' in Chizesuru); the rise of local African businessmen; and the replacement of 'traditional' places for discourse such as chiefs' courts and work parties by a colonial creation, the Chiweshe Reserve Council. By 1968, the discourse had been so disrupted that Chiweshe families could no longer agree upon how to apply ideas about neighbourly obligation to themselves. Their discourse on moral economy was driving them apart, rather than bringing them together. Notes, ref., sum.