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The role of chingondo/chimaisiri dance on makasva and humwe rite in the Zimunya communal area, Zimbabwe.

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The study seeks to investigate the role of Chimaisiri (a spiritual hunting dance) on Makasva (rain making) and Humwe (a celebratory harvest ritual) in the Zimunya communal area of Zimbabwe. The study also seeks to explore the musicological and ethnomusicological ethnography for the Jindwi people’s Chimaisiri dance as well as the Makasva and Humwe rituals. Indigenous Knowledge Systems (chivanhu) are a spirited essential feature of the Jindwi people’s way of life. This community performs a spiritual dance called Chimaisiri during the Makasva and Humwe cultural rites to venerate their deity, thus upholding and maintaining their inherited cultural belief systems. Placing importance on spirituality, the Zimunya community members venerate their ancestors who depend on the community’s performances of this dance when celebrating these cultural rites. This indigenous spiritual dance is performed to bring about healing (kurapa) in the society and facilitating social cohesion (kubatanidza vanhu). In analyzing the dance, the study explores its role in the community as signifying and symbolic of the Jindwi cultural values. This PhD thesis sets out to explore the roles in which Zimunya traditional authorities and community members as a whole, perceive the significance of the dance in their cosmology, and analyzes the role of the spiritual hunting dance as a signifying symbolic value of the Jindwi people’s culture. The study draws data from field research conducted between 2017 and 2019 among the Jindwi people of the Zimunya community in Mutare District, Manicaland Province, Zimbabwe. Data gathered through field work using grounded methodologies such as unstructured interviews, participant observation, focus group discussions and oral history were analyzed. A method of qualitative data analysis was employed in organizing and analyzing the data. The Interactive Behavioural Social Fibric Solace (IBSFS) model was employed to provide an analytical lense to critically examine the role of the Chimaisiri dance on cultural rites. The IBSFS model incorporates three principal theories to superbly analyze the different components of the dance. The major theory under the IBSFS is the Sociological Aesthetic Theory, which uses expressions to exhibit feelings, emotions and gestures. This research employed this theory to study the role of Chimaisiri dance on Makasva and Humwe rites and covered its aesthetic beauties of bonding and facilitating social cohesion amongst the Jindwi people. The second theory is the Therapeutic or Medicinal Theory, which uses dance therapy or dance movement therapy and the last theory is the Social Cohesion Theory. The study looks into the process in which the performance of the spiritual dance on the rituals is pertinent in bringing societal healing and advancing the promotion of rapport and cordial relationships amongst community members, consequently solidifying and maintaining social cohesion. The research is relevant in bringing to light the significance of this spiritual dance to the Zimunya community Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Indigenous Music Knowledge, particularly in terms of exhibiting the Jindwi people symbolic values, enabling societal healing and in promoting social cohesion amongst the community members. The study also reveals that the enactment of the dance on ritual contexts contributes in facilitating rain making. The study recommend a historical repository of the dance’s cultural narratives in all forms to be archived for reference and inference. It concluded that the enactment of the Chimaisiri dance helps to connect the Jindwi people with their deity.


Doctoral Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.