Mashona

Synonyms: 
Amajanja, Ikomo eza Makakanga, Makalanga, Makaranga, Mombe, Ngombe, Ngombe Dza Maswina, Ngombe Dza Vakaranga.
Subgroup: 
Shona group
Special Characteristics: 
Small but well proportioned, fine-boned sturdy animals for beef and work; have small head and dished forehead, deep set eyes and small pointed ears; they are predominantly polled as the result of selection for that trait; coat colour is usually black, red or brown with yellowish muzzle; fertility is high; maternal instinct is strong but cows are generally docile (Felius, 1995).
Group: 
Main Location: 
They are cattle of the Shona people of Zimbabwe; their breeding area extends eastwards over the Mozambique border into a small tsetse-free area south-west of Tete and south-westwards into parts of Matebeleland including Matopos hills.
Origin: 
The original Makalanga (Makaranga, Ngombe dza Vakaranga) cattle of the Shona people of the eastern half of Zimbabwe were of sanga type, similar to the Tonga cattle of Zambia. These were decimated by the cattle plague of 1896-98 and East Coast Fever epidemic of 1900-06. Subsequently, large numbers of Angoni cattle were introduced and crossed with the remaining Makalanga cattle. Rigorous selection for traits of economic importance by commercial breeders led to progressive improvement. The breed was later renamed to Mashona, and the breed association and herdbook were established in 1954 (Felius, 1995).
Species: