Communal land

(see also Common land)

Communal land is a (mostly rural) territory in possession of a community, rather than an individual or company . This sort of arrangement existed in almost all Europe until the 18th century, by which the king or the church officially owned the land, but allowed the peasants to work in them in exchange for a levy. These institutions still survive today in Switzerland and Sardinia.

This system has also existed in Africa, Asia and America, and in some parts has persisted until today. A group or culture historically owns a piece of land and distributes it among its members, through the relevant authority. The good management of this land is veiled by the group itself, which can revoke the right of use to a farmer if this one is using it badly or for the wrong means.

The concept of communal land does not meet well with modern-day law, which is based on private property, so these territories more often than not are without a legal owner, which in law means it is property of the state. This has opened the door to cases of land grabbing by national or multinational companies, which has been the source of many conflicts and strife.


The term communal land in Zimbabwe refers to certain rural areas within Zimbabwe. Communal lands were formerly called Tribal Trust Lands (TTL's). Subsistence farming and small scale commercial farming are the principal economic activities in communal lands, there is usually limited additional employment apart from in a Growth point and with jobs like teaching. Some communal lands have high population densities, and as a consequence overgrazing by cattle and goats and soil erosion can occur. The farms of communal lands are traditionally unfenced. Communal lands have resident traditional African Chiefs. Many communal lands are at a lower elevation than the richer commercial farms, and consequently experience higher average temperatures, and lower rainfall levels. [1] Since independence, in communal lands, schools have been established and expanded, roads tarred, and electrification has spread. In recent years though, this development has slowed.


In Mexico communal land is known as the ejido. (see also the Chiapas conflict)

External links

Bee Mine Secondary School

Bee Mine Secondary School is a co-educational school in Zhombe Communal Land, Kwekwe District.

Binga District


Binga District (Binga District) is a district of Zimbabwe in southern Africa. It is located in Matabeleland North just south of Kariba Lake, across the lake from Zambia It lies along the southern Zambezi Escarpment.

The Tonga people inhabit the area.

Caltavuturo massacre

The Caltavuturo massacre took place on January 20, 1893, in Caltavuturo in the Province of Palermo (Sicily), when during the celebration of Saint Sebastian, some 500 peasants returning from the symbolic occupation of 250 hectares of communal land were dispersed by soldiers and policemen, killing 13 and wounding 21 peasants. The claim for land reform was one of the demands of the Fasci Siciliani (Sicilian Leagues), a popular movement of democratic and socialist inspiration in 1891-1894.


In the Mexican system of government, an ejido (Spanish pronunciation: [eˈxiðo], from Latin exitum) is an area of communal land used for agriculture, on which community members individually farm designated parcels and collectively maintain communal holdings. Ejidos are registered with Mexico's National Agrarian Registry (Registro Agrario Nacional). The system of ejidos was based on an understanding of the Aztec calpulli and the medieval Spanish ejido.

Exchange Irrigation Scheme

Exchange Irrigation Scheme is a 165 hectare irrigated arable land in Zhombe Communal Land but in Silobela Constituency in Kwekwe District of the Midlands Province of Zimbabwe. It is 37 km southwest of Zhombe Joel, 83 km northwest of Kwekwe and 25 km north of Crossroads DSC.

It is in region 3; the climatic conditions are semi arid with an average rainfall of 632mm per annum. Estimated elevation is 1200 metres above sea level.

Glen Grey Act

The Glen Grey Act is an 1894 act of the parliament of the Cape Colony, instigated by the government of Prime Minister Cecil John Rhodes, which established a system of individual (rather than communal) land tenure, and created a labour tax to force Xhosa men into employment on commercial farms or in industry. The act was so named because, although it was later extended to a larger area, it initially applied only in the Glen Grey district. Glen Grey is a former name for the area around Lady Frere, east of Queenstown, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.

The Glen Grey district became part of the Transkei, within which it was named Cacadu district (not to be confused with the current Cacadu District Municipality, which is further to the west) and is now the magisterial district of Lady Frere. It is part of the Western Thembuland traditional kingdom.

Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park

Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park is a 35,000 km² peace park that is in the process of being formed. It will link the Limpopo National Park (formerly known as Coutada 16) in Mozambique, Kruger National Park in South Africa, Gonarezhou National Park, Manjinji Pan Sanctuary and Malipati Safari Area in Zimbabwe, as well as the area between Kruger and Gonarezhou, the Sengwe communal land in Zimbabwe and the Makuleke region in South Africa.

Innenstadt, Cologne

Innenstadt (German: Köln-Innenstadt) is the central city district (Stadtbezirk) of the City of Cologne in Germany.

The district was established with the last communal land reform in 1975, and comprises Cologne's historic old town (Altstadt), the Gründerzeit era new town (Neustadt) plus the right-Rhenish district of Deutz. Innenstadt has about 127,000 inhabitants (as of December 2008) and covers an area of 16.4 square kilometres.

Lyrup, South Australia

Lyrup is a town in South Australia's rural Riverland area. Lyrup is located on the banks of the Murray River. It is 267 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, the capital of the state of South Australia and 25 kilometres from Renmark. At the 2006 census, Lyrup had a population of 502.Lyrup is accessible by ferry. It was established in 1894 by the South Australian government as a part of the creation of a communal land system (one of twelve settlements). 243 people originally settled in Lyrup. The town was gazetted on 24 September 1896 and was named after "Lyrup's Hut", a boundary rider's shack.

Lyrup still maintains a communal land system. It has a community club, general store and picnic areas. The area around it produces grapes, stone fruit and citrus, almonds, apricots and some corn.

Mudzi District

Mudzi District is a district of Mashonaland East Province, Zimbabwe, in southern Africa. It is located in the far eastern part of Zimbabwe, and covers 4,075 square kilometres (1,573 sq mi), all of which is communal land. As of the 2012 census, the district had a population of 133,252, this is down from the 135,378 of the 2002 census and reflects emigration due to the poverty of the district. It has a single main road, A2, that runs from the town of Mutoko in Mutoko District in the southwest through the district, past the villages of Chifamba, Mudzi, Chingwena, Masarakufa, Nyamuwanga, the town of Kotwa, and the village of Muzezuru to the town of Nyamapanda before entering Mozambique to the northeast.As of the 2008 delimitation, Mudzi District had seventeen administrative wards formed into three parliamentary constituencies, and one designated growth centre at Kotwa. As of 2008 the Mudzi West constituency covered the Shanga, Suswe, Mudzi, Musarakufa and Chiunye areas; the Mudzi South constituency covered Katsande, Nyamatawa, Chikwizo, Gozi and Makana areas; and the Mudzi North constituency covered the Nyamurapa,

Kondo, Dendera, Kotwa, and Goromonzi areas and the border town of Nyamapanda.Rivers in Mudzi District include the Mudzi and Rwenya.

Mwenezi River

Mwenezi River is a major tributary of the Limpopo River. The Mwenezi River starts up in south central Zimbabwe and flows south-east along what is known as the Mwenezi River Valley that bisects the district into two sectors. The river is found in both Zimbabwe and Mozambique. In Zimbabwe it has been known as the Nuanetsi or Nuanetzi River in the past, a name it retains in Mozambique.The river flows through Gonarezhou National Park on its way to joining the mighty Limpopo River. The Mwenezi river is a major tributary and flows north-south. They do not meet in Zimbabwe, but converge to a distance of 20 km downstream into Chicualacuala District, Mozambique. In between is the Sengwe Communal Land in Chiredzi District of Masvingo Province, mostly a flat and undulating area around 300 m in altitude.

Native Community Lands

Native Community Lands (Spanish: Tierra Comunitaria de Origen, acronym: TCO; also translated as Communal Lands of Origin), according to Bolivian law, are territories held by indigenous people through collective title. The creation of these territories has been a major goal of Bolivian indigenous movements and a political initiative pursued by both neoliberal and indigenous-identified national governments. TCOs are being included under the Indigenous Originary Campesino Autonomy regime. As of June 2009, 60 TCOs had been proposed in the lowlands, of which 12 had completed titling, and 143 had been proposed in the highlands, of which 72 had final titles. More than 16.8 million hectares have been incorporated within Native Community Lands as of December 2009, more than 15% of Bolivia's land area.

Titling of indigenous territories was propelled by the March for Territory and Dignity in July and August 1990, organized by the Confederation of Indigenous Peoples of the Bolivian East (CIDOB). This march demanded the recognition of four indigenous territories, which was granted through Supreme Decrees issued on 24 September 1990. State recognition was formalized through the 1993 Agrarian Reform Law, which authorized community land ownership and formalized Native Community Lands as the vehicle for this ownership. Responsibility for verifying and awarding title fell to the National Institute of Agrarian Reform. In the 1994 revision of the Constitution, indigenous rights to exercise "social, economic, and cultural rights" through Native Community Lands were recognized in Article 171. In the 2009 Constitution, Native Community Lands reappear as Indigenous Originary Campesino Territories in Article 403. A study by the Fundación Tierra found that while the Morales government has significantly advanced titling of Native Community Lands, it has resisted ensuring the constitution rights of TCO residents over the management of their territories and resources.

Ngondoma River

Ngondoma River is a river in Zhombe Communal Land, Kwekwe District in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe.

Nkayi, Zimbabwe

Nkayi is a district in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe, about 100 km (62 mi) west of Kwekwe and 168 km (104 mi) northeast of Bulawayo in Nkayi communal land. It is believed that its name originates from the Tonga word "Uyinkayi" meaning "where are you going". The main language spoken is Ndebele.

Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act

The Oklahoma Indian Welfare Act of 1936 (also known as the Thomas-Rogers Act) is a United States federal law that extended the 1934 Wheeler-Howard or Indian Reorganization Act to include those tribes within the boundaries of the state of Oklahoma. The purpose of these acts were to rebuild Indian tribal societies, return land to the tribes, enable tribes to rebuild their governments, and emphasize Native culture. These Acts were developed by John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs from 1933 to 1945, who wanted to change federal Indian policy from the "twin evils" of allotment and assimilation, and support Indian self-government.The Thomas-Rogers Act was adopted in order to enable Native American tribes in Oklahoma to rebuild governments that had been dissolved in order to prepare the territories for Oklahoma being admitted as a state in the Union in 1907. As part of this effort also to encourage Native American assimilation, Indian land title was extinguished in Indian Territory by the break-up and allotment of communal lands. Under the Dawes and Curtis acts, the communal land of the former reservations in Oklahoma was:

allotted to individual Indian Tribal members with 160 acres per household (too little in many areas to support subsistence farming because of poor conditions)

held in trust by the United States for the benefit of tribal members.

What the government determined to be "surplus" was sold off or otherwise distributed, including to non-Natives, in a series of land runs.In addition to surplus lands being sold, many Native Americans lost their allotments to speculators and unscrupulous businessmen. The Native Americans suffered major losses of land in Oklahoma. In addition, the disruption of their societies and cultures resulted in considerable breakdown of their worlds.

Red Sticks

Red Sticks (also Redsticks or Red Clubs), the name deriving from the red-painted war clubs of some Native American Creeks—refers to an early 19th-century traditionalist faction of these people in the American Southeast. Made up mostly of Creek of the Upper Towns that supported traditional leadership and culture, as well as the preservation of communal land for cultivation and hunting, the Red Sticks arose at a time of increasing pressure on Creek territory by European-American settlers. Creek of the Lower Towns were closer to the settlers, had more mixed-race families, and had already been forced to make land cessions to the Americans. In this context, the Red Sticks led a resistance movement against European-American encroachment and assimilation, tensions that culminated in the outbreak of the Creek War in 1813. Initially a civil war among the Creek, the conflict drew in United States state forces while the nation was already engaged in the War of 1812 against the British.

Sunuwar people

The Sunuwar (Nepali: मुलबासी मंगोल कोइँच सुनुवार; Sunuwār Jāti) is an indigenous tribe from the Indian subcontinent, mainly modern-day Nepal and present-day India. They speak the Sunuwar language. According to the 2001 census of Nepal, 17% of the tribe follow the Kirant religion and adopt the Mundhum (Kiranti) culture.The Kiranti-Kõinchs number 55,752. The term ‘Kõinchs’ is also the name of the mother tongue. Other terms like Mukhiya or Mukhia are exonyms of the tribe. Sunuwar have their distinct language, religion, culture and social customs.

They inhabit the eastern hills of Nepal and Himalayan India. They are concentrated along the Molung Khola, Likhu Khola and Khimti Khola (‘Khola’ Indo-Aryan Nepali etymon ‘rivulet’) regions. By administrative division, they dwell in Okhaldhunga, Ramechhap and Dolakha districts of Nepal, politically known as Wallo (‘Near/Hither’), Kirant (in the past and also in use among the Kirantis at present) after the fall of the Kirant dynasty (ruling for about 1903 years and 8 months) at the ancient Nepal valley. Wallo Kirant in the past was their Kipat or communal land.

Tsholotsho District

Tsholotsho District is an administrative district in Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe. Its administrative centre is the business service centre of Tsholotsho which is located about 65 km north-west of Nyamandhlovu and 98 km north-west of Bulawayo as the bald eagle flies, in the Tsholotsho communal land. Districts around Tsholotsho include Lupane, Hwange, Umguza, and Bulilimamangwe District (formerly Plumtree District).

Zaka District

Zaka is a district in Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe and is located 86 km southeast from Masvingo in the Ndanga communal land. The village was established in 1923 and lies in a very low-lying area hence the Shona-derived name kwo-ka-zaka which means to where it is going down.

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