Mozambique Culture and History

Culture

The struggle for independence in the early 1970s and the subsequent civil war, which lasted until 1992, shaped the cultural development in Mozambique. Mozambican literature did not emerge until the middle of the 20th century. The emphasis on African elements ( Négritude ) and the critical examination of colonialism characterize its beginnings. In the aftermath of the bloody civil war, socially critical issues also predominated. The best-known representative of Mozambican literature is José Craveirinha (* 1922, † 2003 ). Paulina Chiziane (* 1955 ) was the first woman in Mozambique to publish a novel (1990).

According to thefreegeography, the sculptor Alberto Chissano (* 1935, † 1994 ), who is known for his wooden sculptures, and the painter Malangatana Ngwenya (* 1936, † 2011 ) are the best-known representatives of the visual arts in Mozambique.

Traditionally, rhythmic music and dance are the focus of Mozambican cultural life. The ritual Mapiko dance of masked men is still celebrated by the Makonde today. Strong Portuguese influences are particularly noticeable in the cities of the south. Melancholy fado is also widely used here. Marrabenta is also very popular as a form of Mozambican dance music. Jazz and hip-hop predominate in pop music. The singer Zaida Chongo (* 1970, † 2004 ) was a well-known pop star in Mozambique.

By far the most popular sport is football. The Portuguese soccer star Eusébio was born in Mozambique. Mozambique achieved the greatest sporting success in athletics. Middle-distance runner Maria Mutola (* 1972 ) won the first and so far only Olympic gold medal for Mozambique.

World Heritage Site in Mozambique

World Heritage Site in Mozambique

  • Mozambique Island (1991)

History

Since the century VII the Arabs settled on the islet of Mozambique and Sofala to control the gold trade that flowed from the interior. In the sec. X a Persian emigration from Shirazi settled in Kilwa dominating the coastal cities, but in 1498, at the time of Vasco da Gama ‘s voyage , this supremacy was in decline; the Portuguese took advantage of it to subdue the whole coast. They also tried to get to the gold mines, but the expeditions inside were unsuccessful also due to the hostility of the great Karanga indigenous kingdom of the Monomotapa.. The help given by the Portuguese to Gatsi Rusere to quell an internal revolt in the Monomotapa allowed them to improve relations, but the alliance was precarious. Towards the end of the century a former vassal of the Monomotapa, Changamire, king of Butwa (one of the main gold-bearing areas), called to help by the Monomotapa, became the arbiter of the situation, attacking and defeating the Portuguese as well. In 1752 Mozambique was erected in capitanía geral and detached from the Estado da India, but the crisis of the colony, now limited only to the coastal squares and to Sena and Tete on the Zambezi, continued. At the beginning of the nineteenth century the interior was upset by Bantu migrations driven by the Zulu invasion of Chaka. A host of Ngoni it devastated Zambézia and then settled above Tete; another led by Soshangane settled in the country of Gaza and in 1834 besieged Lourenço Marques, sacking Inhambane and Sena. On the death of Soshangane (1859) the Portuguese entered the struggle for the succession by supporting Umzila who later acted as vassalage to Portugal. With the Scramble for Africa, Lisbon paid more attention to Mozambique, also planning the union with Angola, but clashed with the English expansion. With the ultimatum of 1890 and the subsequent treaty of 1891, Great Britain blocked Portugal in Mozambique. Since then, long “pacification” campaigns began to subdue the populations not yet addicted to Portuguese control. It was necessary to proceed until 1892 against the prazeros of Zambézia, a sort of Luso-Indian feudal lords; then against Gungunhana, son of Umzila, won in 1896 after he had tried to play on the Anglo-Portuguese rivalry. Uprisings followed between the Macuas and in Barué and again in Zambézia until 1902. Only towards 1915 could Mozambique be considered “pacified”. In 1935 the country was proclaimed an integral part of Portugal and in 1951 an overseas province (Ultramar). Meanwhile, in 1948, unrest and strikes had set the colony in turmoil; the repressions pushed the Africans to create, around 1960, the first political associations (UDENAMO, MANU and UNAMI) which then merged into FRELIMO, whose leader Eduardo Mondlane was assassinated in Dar es Salaam in 1969 by Portuguese agents. FRELIMO occupied and politically organized large areas of the country in the districts of Cabo Delgado and Tete. After the coup d’état carried out by General Spinola on 25 April 1974, the new Lisbon regime began, with the official declaration of 27 July 1974, the process of decolonization in the African overseas provinces.

Mozambique Culture and History

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