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http://hdl.handle.net/10071/7607
acessibilidade
Title: Donas da Terra. her-story on female power and authority in the Zambezi Valley, Mozambique
Authors: Rosário, Carmeliza Soares da Costa
Keywords: Women
Power
Mozambique
Anthropology
History
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Centro de Estudos Internacionais do Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL)
Abstract: The Zambezi Valley, in Mozambique has been considered a sociological construct, more than geographical space. Portuguese colonial rule over this area, enacted initially from Goa, instituted the prazo system which was a system by which Crown land was leased to settlers for a fixed period. To attract more settlers, some prazos were given as dowry to girls who married Portuguese vassals; to be inherited through the female line, for at least three generations. These women became known as the Donas. Indigenous women in the region were also reportedly powerful and had administrative authority. Among the Maravi, the wife of the karonga had jurisdiction over part of the territory. Female chiefs were also reported to have existed. Among the Shona, the wives of the mutapa had their own territory and at times served as ambassadors of the empire. Despite their notoriety, historical texts mention these women marginally or as surrogates to male dominance. This is not a coincidence, but stems from a male perception of female roles. By constructing a text which generally ignores women’s role in history or relegates it to a secondary plane by comparison to their male counterparts, historians may have not made justice to the social, political and economic structures and inner workings of the Zambezi Valley complex, to borrow Mathews (1981) term. The research I propose to undergo intends to bring forth the ways in which current women of this sociological space, historically connected to this array of powerful female ancestors have been (re)constructing the perception of their power and authority. I will use the feminist discussion to argue for the relevance of a history about women and based on women’s accounts. The concept of power will be central and overarching, as the women under analysis past and present are viewed as powerful and with authority. However, this essay will focus more on historical context and knowledge production, than on the conceptual discussion on power.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10071/7607
ISBN: 978-989-732-364-5
Appears in Collections:CEI-CLN – Autoria de capítulos de livros nacionais

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