Shona-speaking people lived in Zimbabwe hundreds of years before the Europeans arrived. It was a major commercial centre in the 14th and 15th centuries, although the ruins of Great Zimbabwe date back to the 8th century. It became increasingly secondary of the Kingdom of Mwanamutapa which arose on the north. By backing rival kings, Portuguese traders managed to destroy Mwanamutapa by 1700. The Shona inhabitants were unable to repel the invasion of Ndebele people under Mzilikazi in 1870; the Ndebele had a very powerful state. However, it was not strong enough to defeat European settlers who forcibly aquired Shona lands in 1890 and turned to Ndebele territory in 1893. Revolts by both peoples several years later were also defeated.
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