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Great Zimbabwe

Complexity of Relationships

A path on the granite outcrops traverses the Great Zimbabwe site from the eastern entrance onto the land occupied by ancient ruins. Approximately 400 meters from the Eastern Ruins a natural quartz line bisects the granite and forms the spiritual entrance to the site, the Mujejeje. Visitors approaching from the east remove their shoes at the Mujejeje and with a stone or rock lying beside it they tap from South to North along the quartz line to open the spiritual gate, step over and tap in the opposite direction to close it. The used stone is placed on a cairn at the north end of the quartz line and the visitor proceeds into the site. Exit from the site is achieved through the same process.

The multiple claims to the land at Great Zimbabwe are complex and include the Zimbabwe government, the National Museums and Monuments of Zimbabwe, UNESCO, the Nemanwa, Mugabe and Charumbira clans, visiting academia, tourists and the general Zimbabwe population. The disputes between the three clans claiming sacred rights to the land have been heated and violent on occasion. The demolished cairns at each end of the Mujejeje are said to be the result of this inter clan rivalry.

This body of works considers some of the ancient ruins at Great Zimbabwe in the context of a contemporary Zimbabwe.