Almost every anti-colonial struggle this century has been led by an army of guerrillas. No such struggle has succeeded without a very high degree of cooperation between guerrillas and the local peasantry. But what does "cooperation" between peasants and guerrillas really consist of? What effect does it have on the way they view the world for which they fight?
In the struggle for Zimbabwe (1966-80), hundreds of thousands of peasants provided the guerrillas with practical help and support. But they went a good deal further. Throughout the country scores of spirit mediums, the religious leaders of Shona, gave active support to resistance. With their participation, the scale of the war expanded into an astonishing act of collaboration between ancestors and their descendants, the past and the present, the living and the dead.
This book is a detailed study of one key "operational zone" in the Zambezi valley. It shows that to understand the meaning the war and independence have for the people of Zimbabwe themselves, we must take into account not only the nationalist guerrillas and politicians, the bearers of guns, but also the mediums of the spirits of the Shona royal ancestors, the bringers of rain.