Return to Mozambique


It is worth exploring and falling in love with...

After the suppression of its culture during colonialism, the Mozambican cultural renaissance came to flourish during the anti South African apartheid system fight.
The Cultural renaissance did not come from the government or academics but from the population, even after all the storms that this land has endured its people are full of passion, friendliness and a high sense of national identity and pride. And that includes the passion for its culture that remains intact and personal.

Music and dance is not only a form of entertainment but also of expression, being part of traditional and/or religious events. Music is constant and predominant. There are many different forms of dancing each with its different instruments and rhythms but also with its different purpose of expression. Traditional music instruments are hand made using wood, fruits and animal skin. The most popular are the lupembe, the marimba and the timbila.

There is nothing shy or dull in the Mozambican dance. There are many types but some of the examples are: the Xigubo (the dance of war), the Semba (the dance of love), the Xigogoro (from the Chope ethnic group and performed on the timbila), the Makwaya (the dance of joy, performed mostly at weddings); however these traditional dances are not actually danced when you go out at night, in this scenario you will have dances like the marrabenta or passada. Being it a slow or fast rhythm, the movement is honest, free and powerful; truly a form of expression that comes from the populations’ roots, history, ancestry and present daily life.

Its paintings and sculptures are inspired by the impressionism and abstract movements. However, Mozambican art has an unique individuality of its own, its culture and history are often the subject matter; being a celebration portraying its music and dancing or one of struggle portraying labour and wars, often having the hoe and the rifle incorporated, as it also is in its flag. Malangatana and Mankew Valente Muhumana are two of the names that have captured international eye.
Other names such as Carlos Cardoso, José Craveirinha, Paulina Chiziane, Mia Couto and Nelson Saúte have captured the national and international eye through their words, through journalism, poetry, fiction or non-fictional, they have pursued to uncover the truth, to inspire pride and aspirations.

Mozambican theatre is witty and funny, but most importantly it always has current social issues as a subject matter, an important awareness transmitted by entertainment and very good actors.

Western clothes are used by everyone, where style and fashion is given a great importance. However, the capulana (a think cloth, that has art and commerce inspired designs on it) is used by some women on top of whatever piece of clothing they are using, wrapped from the waist downwards. Also smaller pieces of the same material are used by being wrapped around the women’s’ head covering their hair, or on top of the head, folded in a pillow like form, serving as support when carrying and transporting things.
Sports is another great component of the Mozambican culture, being it at school fields, or in the streets, football and basketball are the two sports that have most interest amongst the Mozambican society. Its most famous athletic to this time is Maria de Lurdes Mutola, specialized in the 800 meters run, she won the first gold medal for Mozambique in the Sydney Olympic Games.

Mozambican cuisine, like its people, originates from 3 continents. Not only including African and European, but as well Indian, Malayan and Chinese. Flavour is one of the most important ingredient; being it the fresh taste of its seafood, or the spices, and sometimes nuts, or the time and preparation that is put into each dish, which includes a wide rage of ingredient.
Traditional medicine and traditional healers (the curandeiros) are an important part of its culture, and is highly respected by its believers, which constitute half of the population. The second biggest percentage follows the Christian in its many forms. The other most predominant smaller groups are composed by Muslims (mostly Arabs and blacks in northern part of the country), by Buddhists (mostly Mahayana and Chinese), and by Hindus (mostly Indians). However, about 20% of the population is not associated with any particular belief.

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