This is a Kylaris Article of Recognition.

Murungu

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Murungu
Varungu
Jock and Agnes Smith, 1935.jpg
A white couple, 1935
Total population
~100,000
Regions with significant populations
 Rwizikuru21,595
Languages
Estmerish (majority) and Gaullican (minority)
Rwizi (second)
Religion
Sotirianism
Related ethnic groups
Chennois

The murungu (pl. varungu), also known as White Rwizikurans or Euclean-Rwizikurans, are people in Rwizikuru who are of Euclean descent. In common parlance, the term is only applied to Estmerophones who chose to keep Rwizikuran citizenship in 1946 and their descendants, as well as other whites who immigrated more recently and received citizenship, while Gallophones who kept Rwizikuran citizenship are commonly referred to as Chennois.

The varungu population in contemporary Rwizikuru is mostly descended from immigrants from Estmere who began to move to the Colony of Riziland from the late nineteenth century. Until the post-Great War period, the varungu community in Rwizikuru was small in proportion to the native population, with the varungu population only making up around 0.5% of the total population in 1921, despite efforts by the Estmerish and colonial governments to entice settlers to move to the Colony of Riziland. However, in the post-Great War period, poor economic conditions in Estmere led to significant immigration to the colony, and by 1945, the Estmerophone varungu population reached a peak of around 100,000 people.

Since independence, emigration from Rwizikuru has occurred, firstly among those who refused to take Rwizikuran citizenship, but as the government became more authoritarian, many varungu left, bottoming out in 1981 with a population of 5,789 people. However, since the late 1980s, economic growth has led to many varungu returning to the country, with the number of varungu as of 2011 being at 21,595 people, mostly concentrated in Port Fitzhubert and Crogan.

Etymology

The term murungu is a Rwizi language term referring to white people.

The most common theory says that the term originated from a name that is commonly used by other Bahian peoples to refer to God or the creator deity, Mulungu. According to linguist and settler Marvin Carnall, who first proposed the idea in 1911, when the Estmerish first arrived to present-day Port Graham in 1638 and established a fort, the Rwizi saw the Estmerish as Gods, and thus used the term murungu to refer to the Estmerish.

However, this interpretation has been met with substantial criticism, with many Rwizi arguing that Carnall's theory is Eucleocentric and plays into the common trope that "uncivlized peoples" see Eucleans as gods.

The most common alternative theory, first proposed in 1975 by linguist Tazvitya Mhlanga claims that the term derives from the "pumpkin-like" appearance of the earliest Estmerish settlers in the 17th century. Thus, they called the white commmunity "people of the pumpkin."

This term was historically only used by the Rwizi people to refer to all white people. However, in 1946, with independence looming, many white people chose to keep the citizenship of their home countries, instead of accepting Rwizikuran citizenship. Thus, the government needed to devise separate terms to distinguish between those who have taken up Rwizikuran citizenship, and those who chose to keep their original citizenship.

Thus, he chose to use the term "murungu" or "varungu" to refer to white citizens of Rwizikuru, and "munodzoka" or "vanodzoka" to refer to the whites who chose to not accept Rwizikuran citizenship. Since independence, the latter term has evolved to refer to all expatriates of Euclean descent, while the former now only refers to Rwizikuran citizens of Euclean descent.

History

Slave trade

A depiction of Port Graham, c. 1735

It is believed that the earliest populations of what would become the varungu arrived in 1638 when Estmere established Port Graham as a place to facilitate trade with the Rwizi Empire. However, the presence of Eucleans in Rwizikuru was generally limited, even during the height of the slave trade in Bahia in the 1670s and 1680s, with virtually all Eucleans in the area being either soldiers defending the forts, slavers who collected slaves, or sailors who were currently in port, with very few families ever settling down in the forts.

This period of varungu history meant that there was never a permanent sizable Euclean population in Rwizikuru at the time: after the loss of many of the forts due to the Gilded Wars, coupled with the end of the slave trade in the 1740s, Estmerish presence declined, until the fort at Port Graham was abandoned in 1803, which marked the end of a significant Estmerish presence for six decades, although Estmerish explorers and officials would occasionally visit.

While there is evidence of relationships between Eucleans and the Rwizi during this period, which produced mixed-race children (Rwizi: musanganiswa), the mixed-race population generally were assimilated into the Rwizi community, or else were assimilated into the Euclean community, with little evidence of a distinct mixed-race community in the colony as a result of such unions.

Colonization

Farmers near Crogan, 1922

While for much of the early 19th century, Estmere delegated its authority over the colony to the Saint Geoffrey's Company, which resettled freed slaves from the Asterias, in 1863, when the Estmerish government revoked the company's charter and created the Colony of Riziland, Estmerish people began to immigrate to the colony. These were initially largely government officials, who concentrated themselves in Port Fitzhubert, as well as soldiers, with the 1871 census showing 2,455 white people residing in the entire colony.

As Estmere expanded inland, white settlement began, with the establishment of Crogan in 1879, due to the fertile soil around Crogan, which made the area suitable for "large farms on the scale as seen in Rizealand and Satavia." This led to tensions with indigenous peoples inhabiting the area, and to a war between the Verizi Empire and Estmerish forces, which ended in 1884 with an Estmerish victory.

During the 1880s, the colonial government attempted to encourage immigration to Riziland, but Riziland's climate deterred many would-be settlers from migrating into Riziland, as it was seen to be too hot for the likings of potential settlers, while most potential settlers lacked the capital needed to make economically viable farms or businesses: thus, by 1891, there were only 6,705 white people across the entire colony, of which most were concentrated in Crogan or in Port Fitzhubert, and by 1901, that figure had risen to only 11,033 people.

In an attempt to attract more settlers, and to assert Estmerish sovereignty over the eastern bank of the Rwizikuru River, in 1902, the colonial government under Governor Dugald Harpham gave permission to create hill stations in an area of the Mabvazuva Mountains known as the White Highlands. The main settlements in the White Highlands included Kingston, Hartham, and Selataba, while Donston was created specifically as a "place for the white population in the lowlands to retreat to." To encourage more settlement, subsidies were made to encourage immigrants from Estmere to establish farms in the area.

These measures were somewhat effective in attracting Estmerish immigration into the colony: by 1911, there were 34,607 white people residing in the colony: of this, 16,909 lived in the White Highlands, and 17,698 lived in the rest of the colony (including Crogan and Port Fitzhubert). However, immigration into the colony would come to a halt with the Great Collapse in 1915, as worsening economic conditions globally meant that there was not as much demand for goods from Riziland, which led to the colonial economy collapsing, as white owners shuttered the mines and closed their plantations. This in turn led to rising unemployment, and in turn, to race riots in Port Fitzhubert in 1921.

In 1921, there were 29,105 white people living in the Colony of Riziland: during the 1920s, economic growth was stagnant, which hindered immigration into the colony. With the outbreak of the Great War in 1926, Riziland would find itself invaded by Gaullicans from Quigomba to the west and Baséland to the east.

While initially, colonial forces were able to defend much of the colony, the White Highlands would fall to Gaullica early on, forcing most of the white residents to flee for Port Fitzhubert and Crogan. After the fall of Estmere in 1929, Riziland would end up under Gaullican occupation until the end of the Great War, during which time the white population largely maintained their privileged status. In 1931, there were 31,016 Estmerish people living in Riziland.

Post Great-War and self-government

A father and his two sons in Rusere, 1940

With the end of the Great War in 1935, the white community in Riziland were augmented by Gaullophones living in Kigomba, or the portion of the Gaullican colony of Quigomba, which was split between Mabifia and Estmere, as well as the annexation of much of the Gaullican colony of Baséland into Riziland. This was done largely to ensure that a proposed independent state would have a large white population.

In 1937, Riziland was granted limited self-government, with a sixteen-member Legislative Council established, with eight seats representing the white populations in Kigomba, Riziland, and East Riziland, and eight seats representing the Bahian population in Riziland proper. Elections saw Byron Wigram, a second-generation resident of Riziland become Chief Minister.

Due to Estmere being effectively destroyed during the Great War, the immediate post-war period saw significant immigration into Riziland from Estmere, with around fifty thousand people immigrating into the country between 1936 and 1941 in order to seek better opportunities, predominantly from the lower classes, unlike the pre-war immigration, which was largely done by the upper classes. The influx of new settlers led to the colonial government promoting a scheme to start ranching on the Mavirazuva Plateau in northern Thongaland and southwestern Northern Territory, as well as a New Longwoodshire Settlement Scheme to attract immigrants to the northern regions of the Northern Territory, which was described as being "the best place for our Estmerish brothers to have a new start."

By 1941, there were 81,959 Estmerish people in Kigomba, Riziland, and East Riziland, compared to 420,540 Gaullicans, who were primarily concentrated in East Riziland, and 615 other Eucleans. Among the Estmerish in the colony, settlement was largely concentrated in Port Fitzhubert, Crogan, and the White Highlands, but Estmerish settlement had increased in the Mavirazuva Plateau and New Longwoodshire.

Despite the influx of Estmerish people into the colony, Estmerish people in Riziland only formed 16.29% of the total white population, with 83.59% being Gaullican. This led to significant tensions between the two sides, with Estmerophones fearful of being a minority in a Gaullican-dominated state, and Gaullophones resenting the privileged status of Estmerish people within the colony. This was exacerbated in 1941 when Jean-Louis Milhaud succeeded Wigram as Chief Minister, with Milhaud seeking to invite migrants from other Euclean countries to move to Rwizikuru.

However, throughout the 1940s, the Estmerophone Sotirian People's Party and Liberal Party cooperated extensively with the Gaullophone Conservative Party: in 1944, the three parties merged to form the United Party to present a united front to represent white interests. This moderate party was opposed by the New National Party, who advocated independence under white minority rule, and who despite its focus on Gaullican issues was supported by a section of the Estmerish population.

However, to avoid governing with the New National Party, the United Party formed a coalition government with the Movement for the Advancement of Bahians in Riziland, leading Zophar Bohannon becoming Chief Minister in 1945, with Bohannon quickly abolishing all de-jure segregation based on race, which included ending reserving areas of land exclusively for white settlement.

On the eve of independence, it was estimated that the total Estmerish population in Riziland was around 100,000 people, with 75,000 arriving into or being born in the colony after the end of the Great War.

Post-independence

Art school in Port Fitzhubert, 1955

Following the independence of Rwizikuru in 1946, it was estimated that 2/3rds of the Estmerophone community, and 2/5ths of the Gaullophone community either refused to take Rwizikuran citizenship or emigrated from Rwizikuru. Thus, it was estimated only around thirty thousand Estmerish-speaking whites took up Rwizikuran citizenship.

The 1946 elections saw the United Party win 6 of the 150 seats in the National Assembly, while the New National Party was shut out of power. In addition to the 6 MNAs from the United Party, who were all varungu, three more legislators from the governing Movement for the Advancement of Bahians in Riziland were varungu. Although the whites lost much of their political privileges, they continued play a significant economic role, alongside the Mirites and the Freemen.

In 1951, the murungu population was reported to be at 306,070 people, making up around 2.5% of the total population. Of the 306,070 varungu living in Rwizikuru at the time, 252,693 were of Gaullican descent, while 36,112 people were of Estmerish descent, and the remaining 17,265 varungu were of other Euclean origins.

However, things began changing when Vudzijena Nhema succeeded Zophar Bohannon as President of Rwizikuru in 1954: Nhema, of the Rwizikuran National Movement would institute socialist economic policies, which over the course of his presidency would lead to foreign corporations pulling out of Rwizikuru entirely, while his nativisation campaigns pushed many varungu out of the civil service in favour of ethnic Rwizi.

By 1961, the white population fell to 267,614 people, or around 1.7% of the total population. Of the 267,614 varungu, 218,886 were of Gaullican descent, 35,581 were of Estmerish descent, and 13,147 were of other Euclean descent. The white community by this point was largely concentrated in and around Sainte-Germaine (present-day Mambiza, Garambura), Port Vaugeois (present-day Port Tsalar, Mabifia), Port Fitzhubert, and Crogan.

When Vudzijena Nhema was overthrown in 1963 and the National Salvation Council was established in 1964, many varungu hoped that it would reverse socialist economic policies. Although the National Salvation Council did reverse most of Vudzijena Nhema's policies, as it became more authoritarian and became more centralised in Izibongo Ngonidzashe, many varungu, particularly in East Riziland, began to support calls for independence.

After the conclusion of the Mabifian-Rwizikuran War and the Garamburan War of Independence, the Gaullophone community disappeared, as virtually all Gaullophone varungu were either residents in what is now Garambura, or fled to Euclea or the Asterias, leaving only the Estmerish varungu.

Thus, by the 1971 census, the murungu population fell to 17,929 people, or around 0.14% of the total population. Of the 17,229 varungu remaining in Rwizikuran-controlled territory, 15,977 were of Estmerish descent, 201 were of Gaullican descent and 1,751 were of other Euclean descent.

During the 1970s, as Rwizikuru became more closed off from the rest of the world, Izibongo Ngonidzashe would crack down on varungu even further, as he viewed Euclea as having "betrayed Rwizikuru for their own interests." Thus, when the Mirites were expelled in 1973, many varungu properties were also seized by the government, and redistributed among the native population, which only hastened their decline.

By 1981, the murungu population fell to a low of 5,789 people, comprising 0.04% of the total population. Of the 5,789 varungu, 5,565 were of Estmerish descent, 213 were of Gaullican descent, and 11 were of other Euclean descent, with the main centers of murungu population being in Crogan, where out of the 59,576 inhabitants in its urban area, there were 3,506 murungu living there, comprising 5.9% of the city's population, 1,055 living in Port Fitzhubert, making up 0.2% of the city population, and the remainder living in the countryside, including Donston.

Contemporary era

A white-owned farm near Crogan, 2012

With the death of Izibongo Ngonidzashe in 1979, and his succession by Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe, Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe began to engage in economic reforms to attract foreign investment in the country.

With the increasing economic freedoms, many varungu living abroad began to return, especially those who were businessmen prior to the 1960s, although most of them were short-term expats tasked with reestablishing foreign businesses in Rwizikuru. This led to an increase of varungu in Port Fitzhubert. However, most of the economic growth was driven by the Mirites, who were invited back to Rwizikuru in 1982 by Kupakwashe Ngonidzashe.

By 1991, the murungu population had risen to 7,526 people, or 0.04% of the national population, with 7,191 Estmerish varungu, 228 Gaullican varungu, and 107 of other Euclean descent. The government estimated that of the additional people between 1981 and 1991, 1,390 were returning varungu from foreign countries, while only 350 were children born to varungu.

During the 1990s, the murungu continued to see their economic power rise: although it was not to the same heights as the Mirite population, who played a more dominant economic role than the whites. However, during the 1990s, many farmers were no longer able to produce cash crops, with virtually all tobacco farms and banana plantations closing: by 1997, royal officials noted that:

"The only varungu-run farms remaining in operation are coffee plantations, what with the decline of demand for tobacco-based products, and the rise of other countries more suited to growing crops like bananas, combined with increasing coffee demand."

In 2001, the murungu population had risen to 11,881 people, or 0.06% of the national population. Of the varungu, 10,533 varungu were of Estmerish descent, 954 were of Gaullican descent, and 394 were of other Euclean descent. In addition, the government estimated that of the growth between 1991 and 2001, only 602 were born to varungu parents, while 3,753 were returnees from other countries.

In the 2000s, with agreements signed between countries that led to increased mining of coltan, copper, and coal by foreign countries, many varungu took on positions as managers of the mines, or as supervisors, while others took on administrative positions. At the same time, a small tourist industry began to arise, mostly driven by Eucleans and varungu living abroad, which attracted many varungu to work in the hospitality industry.

By the 2011 census, the murungu population rose to 21,595 people, or 0.11% of the national population. Of the varungu, 19,959 were of Estmerish descent, 1,021 were of Gaullican descent, and 615 were of other Euclean descent. As well, the government estimated that between 2001 and 2011, there were 1,426 born to varungu parents, while 8,288 were returnees.

As of 2011, the main centers of the varungu were still Port Fitzhubert, which has a varungu population of 10,798 people, making up 0.3% of the city's population, and Crogan, which has a varungu population of 9,718 people, making up 4.1% of the city's population, with 1,079 scattered throughout the rest of the country.

Culture

Arts

The artistic style of the varungu population have generally been influenced by Estmerish art and Gaullican artistic styles. Prominent varungu painters include Peter Credge, Cleve Carrington, and Agnes Cawley. Prominent varungu sculptors include Hobson Commins and Keith Donoughoe.

Prominent authors from the varungu community include Roe Lyness and Evalyn Vear from the colonial era, while contemporary varungu authors that are popular in Rwizikuru include Dolcie Thompson, Benedict Grant, and Harris Day.

There are only a handful of varungu actors in Rwizikuru's film industry, with most varungu often cast as colonial officials. The most popular varungu actors include Leighton Saunders, Luca Bates, and Honey Davidson.

Cuisine

The cuisine of the varungu population generally has two sources: Estmerish cuisine and Gaullican cuisine, which generally depends on the origins of the murungu in question.

Popular foods among the varungu include oatmeal, mashed potatoes, macarons, and either fish and chips or steak frites. However, many varungu consume Rwizikuran cuisine, so yakagochwa mombe and sadza are also commonplace among the white community.

Sports

The varungu have interested many Euclean sports to Rwizikuru, with Estmere introducing football and rugby league to Rwizikuru.

Popular sports among the white community include horse racing, netball, and field hockey, each also introduced by the Euclean population in Rwizikuru.