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Title: The basic conception of land : an alternative approach to the original principles governing landholding in Shona society
Author: Chinhengo, Austin Muyengi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2736 4509
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 1992
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This study investigates the ideas and conceptions underlying the original principles governing landholding amongst the Shona people of Zimbabwe. Its primary premiss is that the Shona have a basic conception of land peculiar to themselves, which is an element of their world-view, and which is different from Western-type legal conceptions of land. The principles which derive from the Shona basic conception of land provide the basis for the institutions which the Shona have historically developed to govern their system of landholding, and that system can only be accurately analysed within the framework of Shona conceptions and ideas relating to land. Unlike the Western-type legal conceptions in which land is seen as a divisible thing which can be made the subject of private ownership, the Shona basic conception of land regards land as being indivisible, incapable of being individually appropriated, and as providing an essential link between the various elements of the Shona universe. The Shona institutions of landholding comprise 'powers' that govern both the physical distribution of access to the land and the spiritual relationship which the Shona as individuals and as communities have with the land. The effective operation of the Shona institutions of landholding was substantially curtailed by the changes wrought on them through the actions of the colonial and post-colonial State in Zimbabwe. However, the Shona basic conception of land still persists in the minds and attitudes of many members of Shona society, and continues to influence the manner in which they deal with the land.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available