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The history of the Makonde of Mozambique and its interface with art, culture and politics: a research of Portuguese documents from the colonial period and from art collections

Grant number: 14/10262-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 16, 2014
Effective date (End): September 15, 2015
Field of knowledge:Humanities - History - Modern and Contemporary History
Principal Investigator:Maria Cristina Cortez Wissenbach
Grantee:Lia Dias Laranjeira
Supervisor abroad: Olga Maria Lopes Serrão Iglésias Neves
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Local de pesquisa : Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal  
Associated to the scholarship:12/07507-0 - “The Makondes ín “The construction OF national Mozambican identity: historical interactions between art, culture ánd resistance, BP.DR


This research internship is part of a wider investigation whose principle focus is the history of the Makonde of Mozambique within the context of the production of art and culture in Mozambique between the 1950s and the present day. The ongoing investigation seeks to understand the position occupied by Makonde art and culture in the construction of a Mozambican cultural heritage, as well as the relationship between ethnic Makonde identity and national identity, which is intrinsic to this process. To this end, on the one hand, the research focused on documents and publications from the colonial period produced by employees of the colonial administration, ethnologists and members of the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frente de Libertação de Moçambique: FRELIMO), particularly those located in Mozambican archives and institutions. On the other, it considered data collected from interviews with artists, collectors and others, from participation in cultural manifestations of Makonde origin and interpretations of artistic productions. In the light of these objectives, and in order to provide continuity to the research, the internship at the Institute of Contemporary History at the Universidade Nova de Lisboa under the supervision of Professor Olga Iglésias intends to examine and expand the text corpus by investigating the archives at the National Archive of Torre do Tombo (Arquivo Nacional da Torre do Tombo: ANTT), the Military Historical Archive (Arquivo Histórico Militar: AHM), the National Library, the Lisbon Geographic Society and the Museum of Anthropology at the University of Coimbra. This research internship aims to: (a) expand the repertory relating to the history of the Makonde during the colonial period; (b) research Makonde art collections; (c) investigate the symbolic episode known as the "Massacre of Mueda"; and finally (d) research the history of the Makonde art collection within the archive of the Museum of Anthropology (Coimbra), by examining documentation produced by that institution. (AU)