1. The Mutapa Empire reigned from 1450–1698 2. The Kingdom of Mutapa stretched throughout the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers of Southern Africa. 3. The capital, Mutapa was located 350 km north of Great Zimbabwe at mount Fura. The capital was built north of the granite outcrops that had supplied Great Zimbabwe and was composed mostly out of clay, wood and thatch. It was surrounded by a wooden wall, in which it would take around an hour to walk around. Inside there were three public enclosures. One was where the mwenemutapa held court. Followed by a separate enclosing where he housed his wives and 3000 courtiers.
The last building was designated for bodyguards. 4. Spoken tradition explains that the origins of the Mutapa Empire had officially developed in the beginning of the 15th century, when warrior prince, Nyatsimba Mutota sent to find new sources of salt in the north. Prince Mutota was successful at finding his salt, near the Tavara, which was a Shona subdivision. They conquered them which had ultimately leaded to the rise of the Mutapa Empire. 5. The people of the Mutapa Empire believed a mighty G-d named Mwari, who they thought created all natural resources.
Additionally they believed in the worship of ancestors. Shrines were sustained within the capital by spirit mediums called “mhondoros”. 6. Mutapa’s successor was named Matope. He had greatly extended the kingdom into an immense empire surrounding most of the lands between Tavara and the Indian Ocean. The empire became wealthy through its exploitation of copper and ivory from the middle Zambezi. 7. They traded many goods such as silk, ceramics, glassware, golden and silver bracelets and cotton. 8. By the end of the 1400s many states had broken away from the Mutapa kingdom and started to rule independently.
In the latter half of the 16th century, Portuguese forces, had moved in from southern Africa’s east coast, and invaded the Mutapa territory. 9. a. Gold from the kingdom stirred in Europeans a belief that The Mutapa Empire held the legendary mines of King Solomon, referred to in the Bible as Ophir. This was where King Solomon was supposed to have received a large cargo of gold, silver, precious stones, and ivory. As well as apes and peacocks b. Aside from just maintaining shrines, the mhondoros additionally served as oral historians who had recorded the names and actions of earlier kings. . The origin of the name “Mutapa” means “the conquered lands”. That as well as many other articles of history had been preserved in documents such as the Munhu mu tapa, Manhumutapa and the Portuguese Monomotapa. 10. In correlation with modern times, The Mutapa Kingdom lied in the modern day countries of Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Mutapa_Kingdom
http://encarta. msn. com/encyclopedia_701835556/mwene_mutapa_kingdom.html
http://www. wisegeek. com/what-is-great-zimbabwe. htm