The Shona Indigenous Philosophy: A Critical Reconstruction


African Humanities Program Postdoctoral Fellowships


Development Studies


The image of traditional African systems of thought as uncritical, unreflective, unscientific, closed, and substanceless represents one of the enduring misconceptions about African traditional thought and culture. This work argues that a critical and systematic analysis and interpretation of the often taken for granted traditions encompassing imaginative oral narratives, myths, folktales, songs, proverbs, riddles, idioms, ritual practices and beliefs, and other wise sayings can yield an African traditional philosophy. This work attempts to salvage an indigenous and African intellectual heritage that is threatened with extinction by drawing on oral traditions to reconstruct an indigenous philosophy of the Shona people of Zimbabwe.