THE MACUA - HISTORICAL DATAContinue reading
ECONOMIC ACTIVITIESContinue reading
SOCIETY AND INDIVIDUALContinue reading
SOCIAL STRUCTUREPubblicazione: 3 agosto 2015. Continue reading
LIFE AND COSMOVISIONPubblicazione: 10 agosto 2015. Continue reading
RITES OF PASSAGE - The birthContinue reading
RITES OF PASSAGE - The initiation rites of young peopleContinue reading
RITUALS OF PASSAGE – The initiation rituals of young femalesContinue reading
RITUALS OF PASSAGE - Matrimony, Sexual Relations, DivorceContinue reading
ILLNESS AND HEALING RITUALSContinue reading
MACUA – ECONOMIC ACTIVITIES
Column by Dr. Timi GASPARI
anthropologist and specialist of the peoples of Mozambique
Currently the Macua basically live on: agriculture, hunting, fishing (which is clearly an important activity in the coastal areas), gathering forest products.
Hunting is practiced only by men and initiated boys. It is performed using the following techniques: trying to fool the animals by means of whistles and false calls; traps, weapons, chase (hunting trips). Between the war of independence and the civil war, Mozambique almost emptied of animals: either they fled to other states changing migration routes or they were killed by guerrillas to eat them or to resell parts of them and then buy weapons, or they died tripping on mines . The adult people can testify to the almost complete disappearance of the game in the course of a generation, with obvious consequences on the local diet, now poorer in proteins.
Over the years also fishing has progressively become less fruitful, given that for many years large fishing companies and incorrect techniques adopted by the locals (fishing during the period of reproduction, etc.) have exhausted the marine fauna. I interviewed several fishermen who testified that some time ago they caught about 500 kg of fish during a raid, while at present they get about 30 kg.
Agriculture: the first rains are waited for with great anxiety and they are called “appearance of God” in Niassa : when they arrive, they are greeted with songs and celebrations. Both men and women work together in agriculture, usually with different roles. Mainly women sow, everybody participates in the preservation of the field between planting and harvesting (but especially women; in general, women work more than men), the harvest involves the whole family and they invite the neighbors, too. When everything is finished, there is a feast with all those who participated in the harvest.