Bibliography of Kalanga History and Culture

Updated: September 28, 2013

The most important scholarship on Kalanga history and culture is that by van Waarden (especially her 2012 book on Kalanga archaeology and history up to the mid-19th century), Msindo (for late 19th century and early 20th century history), and Werbner (for anthropology, religion and culture). In addition to this bibliography of works specifically on Kalanga history and culture, the Kalanga are also mentioned in many other broader works on the region.   See also works in Kalanga


BHEBE, N.M.B. (1973). “Missionary activity among the Ndebele and Kalanga: a survey” in A.J. Dachs, Christianity South of the Zambezi. Mambo Press, p. 41-52.

CHIGWEDERE, A. (1985), The Karanga Empire. (Harare: Books for Africa).

DECLE, Lionel (1898). Three years in savage Africa. Methuen & Co., 594 p.  — See especially pages 168-183 entitled “Among the Makalaka”

DUBE, Thembani (2010).  A History of the Kalanga in Bulilima and Mangwe Districts: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller. 112 pp.  [The author is currently doing a PhD at the University of Witwatersrand. She worked at the National Archives of Zimbabwe from 2006 to 2010 as senior archivist then oral historian for the institution.]

DUBE, Thembani (2011). Oral Traditions of the Kalanga of Izimnyama Community, Mangwe District, c1800-2006 (Lambert Academic Publishing), 88 pp.

EMMANUEL, Ndzimu-unami (2012). The Rebirth of the Bukalanga: A Manifesto for the Liberation of a Great People with a Proud History, Part I. Mapungubgwe News Corporation. (Chapter 1) (related blog)

GUNDANI, M.P.D; S.C. Mugandani; D Makaza; M. Kanji; E.M Tapera (2009). “Mnqgwayi: a stick throwing game of the Kalanga people of Zimbabwe.” African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance, vol. 15 (pdf)

GUNDANI, M.P.D; D Makaza; E.M Tapera; L.O Amusa; M Banda (2010). “Nyunga: A clay figurine traditional game of the Kalanga ethnic group of Zimbabwe” African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance, vol. 16, No 3.

MALIKONGWA, Albert G.T.K. (2001). The assault on Captain Robert M. D. Langley by the Bakalanga baka Nswazwi wa Pomba Ng’ombe 10th Feb., 1945 —55 p.

MALIKONGWA, Albert G.T.K. (1998). A portrayal of she John Nsazwi viii 1875-1960.

MALIKONGWA, D.M.; Ford, C.C. (1979). The history of the BaKhurutshe (the Phofu group) and the BaKalanga of Botswana. Manuscript. Gaborone: Inst. of Adult Education.

MAZARIRE, Gerald Chikozho (2003). “Who are the Ndebele and the Kalanga in Zimbabwe?” Paper Prepared for Konrad Adenuer Foundation Project on ‘Ethnicity in Zimbabwe’ November 2003 (pdf)

MGADLA, Part Themba (2008). Kalanga culture. Botswana Society.

MONKGE, M.D.C. (2000). Traditional healing among the Kalanga Peoples of the North-east, 37 pp. [UB]

MOTHETHO, Ndapiwa, ed. (2006). Domboshaba festival of history proceedings October 1, 2005. Tatitown, Botswana: Mukani Action Campaign, 29 p. [UB]

MOTHETHO, P. L. G. Days of old : traditions of the Bakalanga, as told to Rev. Phillip L. G. Mothetho. (Tati Town, Botswana: Mukani Action Campaign, 2006), 47 p. [UB]

MOYO, Ndzimu-unami Emmanuel — see EMMANUEL, Ndzimu-unami.

MSINDO, Enocent

  • (2003) “Remaking Ndebele and the Kalanga: Language and Ethnicity in. Matabeleland, 1860-1960s”. M.Phil. thesis, University of Cambridge.
  • (2004). Ethnicity in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe: A Study of Kalanga-Ndebele Relations, 1860s-1980s. Ph.D. Thesis. University of Cambridge. 646 p.
  •  (2005). “Language and Ethnicity in Matabeleland, Zimbabwe: A Study of Kalanga-Ndebele Relations, 1930-1960”, The International Journal of African Historical Studiesˆ, vol. 38:79-103.
  • (2010). “Social and Political Responses to Colonialism on the Margins: Community, Chieftaincy and Ethnicity in Bulilima-Mangwe, Zimbabwe, 1890–1930”, pp. 115-155, in Peter Limb, ed. Grappling With the Beast: Indigenous Southern African Responses to Colonialism, 1840-1930. Brill.
  • (2012). Ethnicity in Zimbabwe: Transformation in Kalanga and Ndebele Societies, 1860-1990. Univ. of Rochester. 374 p.

NTHOI, Leslie S. (2006). Contesting sacred space: a pilgrimage study of the Mwali cult of Southern Africa. Africa World Press. Based on a Univ. of Manchester Ph.D. dissertation.

NYAMNIOH, Francis B. (2006). Insiders and outsiders: citizenship and xenophobia in contemporary Southern Africa (Dakar, London, New York). Pp. 94-99 Chapter on “Press and Ethnicity: BaKalanga as Makwerekwere with Citizenship.”

O’NEILL, J. (1907) “The Kalanga Belief in Spirits and Witchcraft” Zambesi Mission Record 3: 35-39, 146-149, 185-188, 223-227.

RODEWALD, Michael K. (2011) “Understanding Mwali as Traditional Supreme Deity of the Bakalanga of Botswana
and Western Zimbabwe: Part One” and “Mwali in Historical and Regional Context: Part Two”, Botswana Notes and Records 42:11-21 and 22-30.

SEONE, Malebogo (2009). “Intra site spatial organization of traditional homesteads among the Kalanga of Tutume”. BA Thesis, University of Botswana, Department of history archaeology unit, Gaborone, 92 p.  [UB]

THAPELO, Teedzani Davies (1990). The life and career of She Bakwali Kgosi Habangana IV of Mapoka village: 1930 – 1987. Project Report (B.A.) – University of Botswana, Department of History, Gaborone, 194 p.

van WAARDEN, Catrien, ed. (1988) The Oral History of the Bakalanga of Botswana. Occasional paper 2, Botswana Society, 38 p. [UZ, UB]

van WAARDEN, Catrien, ed. (1991). Kalanga: Retrospect and Prospect (Proceedings of the conference “Kalanga Language and Culture: Historic Continuities, Recent Developments, and Linguistic Problems” organized by the Supa-Ngwao Museum and the Kalanga Bible Translation Project,), 113 p.  [UZ, UB]

  • van WAARDEN, C. “The Kalanga State Butua”
  • CAMPBELL, A.C. “Distribution of prehistoric Kalanga villages in the lower Shashe and Letsibogo areas”
  • Discussion on the prehistory of the Bakalanga
  • HOLONGA, N.M. “Overview of the history of the Bakalanga of Botswana”
  • MANNATHOKO, Changu E. “Kalanga language and ethnicity: a historical perspective”
  • EANS, J.E. “Summary of the Kalanga orthography debate”
  • Van HOOF, P.J.M. and H. van der MAAS, Land use, settlements and the rural poor
  • SIMELA, O.D. “Land use patterns and policies for selected parts of western Zimbabwe “
  • Discussion on land use in the Kalanga area — The future of the Kalanga culture
  • WILLOUGHBY, W.C. “Notes and records on the Bakalanga”
  • van WAARDEN, C. “Bibliography on the Bakalanga, their culture and their language”

Van Waarden, Catharina (2012). Butua and the end of an era: The effect of the collapse of the Kalanga State on ordinary citizens. An analysis of behaviour under stress.  Cambridge Monographs in African Archaeology 82. Oxford: Archaeopress.  Based on Ph.D. 2010, State U. of New York at Binghamton. (abstract) (opening pages).

WENTZEL, Petrus Johannes and Masola Kumile (1983). Nau dzabaKalanga: A History of the Kalanga. Pretoria: Univ. South Africa.(Recorded by Masola Kumile, transcribed, translated and edited by P J Wentzel; Vol. 2 Commentary by Wentzel.

WERBNER, Richard P.

  • (1970) “Guardian Spirits”, Man, Myth and Magic 42:1183-1187.
  • (1971) Symbolic Dialogue and Personal Transactions among the Kalanga and Ndembu”. Ethnology 10:311-328.
  • (1971a) “Local Adaptation and the Transformation of an Imperial Concession in North Eastern Botswana”, Africa 41(1): 32-41.
  • (1972) “Sin, Blame, and Ritual Mediation”. In The Allocation of Responsibility. M. Gluckman, Ed. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
  • (1973) “The Superabundance of Understanding: Kalanga Rhetoric and Domestic Divination”, American Anthropologist 75:1413-39.
    (1975) “Land, movement, and status among Kalanga of Botswana” in Studies in African social anthropology, ed. Meyer Fortes and Sheila Patterson. London: Academic Press, pp. 95-120.
  • (1992) Tears of the dead: the social biography of an African family. Harare: Baobab Books.
  • (2004) Reasonable radicals and citizenship in Botswana : the public anthropology of Kalanga elites. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 254 p. (review by Enocent Msindo).
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