An empire in East Africa named from a Karanga clan of the Shona, who established the authority of the Mwene Mutapa in the 15th century. Probably originally spiritual leaders and then military rulers, by 1480 the Rozvi occupied all of present-day Zimbabwe and Mozambique. After about 1500 the central and southern provinces broke away under Changamire, while the ports were subject to Kilwa. The Rozvi controlled gold-mining in the interior and for a time successfully warded off Portuguese attempts to conquer them, but in 1629 the Mwene Mutapa acknowledged Portuguese suzerainty. The empire was finally broken up by the Ndebele in the 1830s.
Subjects: World History.