Celebrations of the African World Heritage Day – 5 May 2022 at Eduardo Mondlane University

To celebrate African World Heritage Day 2022, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Eduardo Mondlane University (UEM) organized a seminar on African Heritage, as a Source of Humanity, Innovation and Resilience. This was held on 6 May 2022 and focused on the activities and results for different projects funded by the Rising From the Depths (RFtD) Network Plus Programme, and how these are encouraging greater integration of natural and cultural heritage in Mozambique, as illustrated by the recently launched Chongoene Archaeological and Biocultural Heritage Project, Gaza Province, sponsored by the Gerda Henkel Foundation.

The seminar’s objectives were to: i) disseminate the research results and outreach activities undertaken by Mozambique-based lecturers, researchers, and students, especially those at the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology (DAA), while acknowledging the support of national and international partners; ii) demonstrate how marine cultural heritage can be used to benefit coastal communities in Mozambique through the RFtD approach, as exemplified by the Chongoene Archaeological and Biocultural Heritage Park; iii) present proposals for the classification of cultural and natural properties of Mozambique that might be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List; and iv) promote actions and initiatives with youth groups aimed at the preservation of Mozambique’s cultural and natural heritage, being incentivized directly by the African World Heritage Fund.

Opening ceremony: UEM Dean Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Dr Samuel Quive (centre), Head Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Dr Hilário Madiquida (right) & Program coordinator and RftD Co I, Dr Solange Macamo (left). Photo: Faculty Communication and Image Office, UEM.

The seminar was held at the main UEM Campus, attracting 89 participants, with many attending physically and others virtually through a Zoom Meeting platform. The programme was organised around two sessions, each with vibrant presentations from University professors, lectures, students and researchers. The sessions encouraged lively debate and discussions, especially on the development of strategies for safeguarding cultural heritage, as well as on the means for the protection and preservation of the archaeological heritage in different parts of Mozambique.


Session participants. Photo: Faculty Communication and Image Office, UEM.

Dr Mussa Raja, Director of Ceremonies. Photo: Faculty Communication and image office

In his presentation, the Head of the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, Dr Hilário Madiquida, emphasized the visible results of the implementation of the RFtD approaches to Archaeological and Heritage Management in Mozambique. As an example of the impact the programme has had, he noted the number of theses written by students, and academic papers written by lecturers and students dealing with this approach. He gave the example of the Chongoene Archaeological and Biocultural Heritage project as an important outcome of the RFtD. It demonstrates how the marine heritage can benefit local communities living in the coast. The project joins a team of researchers from EMU, UniSave, Pedagogical University and Cambridge University, being coordinated by Dr Solange Macamo and advised by Professor Paul Lane. He also acknowledged the contributions of the biocultural heritage approach being promoted by the Sida-funded research and training program linking UEM and Uppsala University (Sweden) that he coordinates.

Dr Hilário Madiquida. Photo: Faculty Communication and Image Office, UEM

The UEM Director for Culture, Kátia Filipe presenting during the opening ceremony. Photo: Faculty Communication and Image Office, UEM

The Dean of the Faculty, Dr Samuel Quive, thanked Dr Jon Henderson for involving Mozambican researchers and students in the RFtD network and the opportunities this had given them to run their own projects, and for the good results that have been presented from last year, when African World Heritage Day started to be celebrated in Mozambique at UEM. He also thanked Dr Henderson for availing funding for the seminar. He welcomed the Park project as the result of RftD activities in Mozambique and funding received from the Gerda Henkel Foundation for helping to establish it, while also recognizing the valuable support to heritage initiatives provided by local communities and other international partners.

Dean of the Faculty, Dr Samuel Quive. Photo by: Faculty Communication and Image Office, UEM.

Key observations from the presentations

Énio Tembe made a key point in his paper on food and diet on the southern Mozambique coast: developing business and intangible heritage about the need to present Chongoene’s heritage in a way that is in line with community needs. The paper was very much appreciated during the seminar, since it placed value on local culinary practices as an important intangible heritage that can be used to stimulate local business activity, in this way helping sustain the Park. Another key paper, presented by a group of students from UEM, outlined a new system for grading the built heritage of Inhambane province, especially that found in coastal towns. This system defines compatible uses for different types of buildings and how these can serve the needs of local coastal communities. This is well in line with the RFtD approach.

Student presentation of the grade system and uses of the built heritage in Inhambane. Photo courtesy of Silva Mazuze.

Student presentation of the grade system and uses of the built heritage in Inhambane. Photo: Faculty Communication and Image Office, UEM.There was also a very interesting paper by Dr Zacarias Ombe (PI for RFtD-funded project Embracing social learning in the management of ecosystem services in Chongoene District, Gaza Province, Mozambique). He demonstrated clearly how coastal people are benefiting freely from ecosystem services, both in terms of intangible belief systems, including the use of plants for medicine, and also economically since the access to the diversity of coastal ecological resources can provide income generating activities, such as fishing, and materials for housing and energy production. Another very interesting paper, using the RFtD approach came from our department colleague, Dr Esmeralda Mariano who is Associate Professor of Anthropology. Her paper was about “local perceptions of marine cultural and natural heritage in Ibo Island”, located in Cape Delgado Province.

Afternoon session discussion: Left to right: Dr Solange Macamo, Dr Hilário Madiquida, Otília Ngoveni, Dr Esmeralda Mariano & Yolanda Duarte. Photo courtesy of Silva Mazuze.


In her paper, written with Paul Lane, Hamido Atuia, Pedro Moiane and Açucena Nhamtumbo (a final-year BA student), Solange Macamo outlined the main achievements of the Chongoene Archaeology and Biocultural heritage project. These have included the i) signing of a Cooperation Agreement by Eduardo Mondlane Rector together with the Xai-Xai Mayor and the Chongoene District Administration; ii) the development of proposal for zoning the park into five zones (archaeological, ecological, touristic, indirect zone of influence of the Park of the old Beach of Xai-Xai and a buffer zone), where the community activities related to the use of ecosystem services are considered; iii)the compilation of protective biocultural legislation; iv) the design of a road layout for the Park and protective signage, using the biocultural legislation and the knowledge of the archaeology as guiding principles; v) the planning of the administration and legal procedures for the architectural design and construction of the Heritage Visitor Centre and Security Cabin; and vi) further funding applications to ensure an Archaeological and Biocultural Heritage Park of excellence that will serve primarily the needs of coastal communities in Chongoene and Xai-Xai Districts.

Dr Solange Macamo presenting an overview of the plans for the Chongoene Archaeological & Biocultural Heritage Park Project. Photo: Faculty Communication and Image Office, UEM

Map showing the proposed legal protective zoning area of the Chongoene Archaeological & Biocultural Heritage Park and the boundaries of the Park (prepared by Hamido Atuia)

Finally, we had Dr Wesley Forsythe presented the results of his RFtD project in northern Mozambique related to marine cultural heritage, along with Yolanda Duarte who spoke about the activities of the Mozambique Island Archaeological and Resources Centre, for which Dr Solange Macamo has now been appointed Director, responding also for the Faculty Museum of Archaeology, within the university. Dr Macamo will continue working with Dr Ricardo Duarte, coordinating also with local stakeholders and collaborating with local and international partners.

During the closing ceremony, the program coordinator thanked all the committee members who helped to organize the seminar and the participants, and the UEM support staff for the facilities and technical logistics. The Deputy Dean of the Faculty thanked all participants, in particular the Inhambane and Gaza province heritage representatives, for coming. He also thanked all paper contributors and the moderators, for providing interesting discussions centered on research and community outreach at the University research outreach. He appreciated the involvement of the students in this process and recommended the extension of MA training particularly in marine heritage at the University.

Closing ceremony by the UEM Faculty Deputy Dean for Research and Outreach, Dr Elísio Jossias. Photo: Faculty Communication and Image Office, UEM.

Order of presentations

Theme followed by debate Speaker Moderator
Tribute to Dr João Carlos de Senna Martinez Dr Solange Macamo & Dr Ana Martins
Classification of the built heritage of Inhambane Province Arminda Guambe, Aventina Sitoe, Celeste Mandlazi, Jennifer Chambule, Margarida Ernesto & Profina Mondlane Dr Solange Macamo
Methodology for laboratory-based archaeological research applied to the Chongoene shell middens in Gaza Province, Mozambique Altino Munguambe Dr Mussa Raja
Archaeotourism in the National Park of Maputo, Maputo Province Silva Mazuze Otília Ngoveni
Youth initiatives for the conservation of the cultural and natural heritage in Mozambique Chafim Braga Dr Hilário Madiquida
Local perceptions about cultural and natural heritage on Ibo Island, Cabo Delgado Province Dr Esmeralda Mariano Yolanda Duarte
The Rising from the Depths-funded project: Embracing social learning in the management of ecosystem services in Chongoene District, Gaza Province, Mozambique Dr Zacarias Ombe Dr Mussa Raja
The Chongoene Archaeological and Biocultural Heritage Park in Gaza Province, Mozambique: a proposal for zone mapping and protective signage Dr Solange Macamo, Professor Paul Lane, Hamido Atuia, Pedro Moiane & Açucena Nhantumbo Dr Zacarias Ombe
Food and diets on the southern coast of Mozambique: Developing intangible heritage and business for the Archaeological and Biocultural Heritage Park, in Gaza Province, Mozambique Énio Tembe & Sidónio Matusse Jossias Humbane
Terms of reference for archaeo-touristic management of interpretative centres at the Manyikeni and Chibuene archaeological sites, Vilankulo, Inhambane Province, in the context of sustainable management. Silva Mazuze Dr Solange Macamo/Jossias Humbane
The Rising from the Depths-funded project: Marine cultural heritage in northern Mozambique. Presenting CAIRIM- Centre for Archaeology, Research and Resources of the Island of Mozambique & exhibition Dr Wes Forsythe & Dr Ricardo T. Duarte/Yolanda Duarte
Closing session

  •  Inhambane Provincial Director for Culture and Tourism – Mr. Emídio Nhantumbo, MA
  • ARPAC (Institute for Socio Cultural Investigation) Gaza Province Delegate – Mr. Abel Mazuze, MA
  • Program coordinator – Dr Solange Macamo
  • UEM Dean Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences – Dr Samuel Quive (represented by the Deputy Dean for Research and Outreach, Dr Elísio Jossias)

Organizing Committee

  • Coordination- Solange Macamo, Énio Tembe, Sidónio Matusse, Silva Mazuze, Altino Munguambe, Arminda Guambe & Jennifer Chambule.
  • ProtocolÉnio Tembe, Sidónio Matusse, Télvia Machava & Celeste Mandlaze
  • Secretariat- Arti Chandra, Hamido Atuia, Stela Gujamo, Clara Mendes, Judite Nhanombe, Braimo Ussene & Milton Chirindza


Before the seminar, we were encouraged by the Rector to publish two-page summaries of all the papers presented in the University Scientific Journal.

Text edited by Solange Macamo & Paul Lane

Layout by Sidónio Matusse


To all who generously provided the complementary data necessary for the edited report.

Maritime Cultural Landscape logo provided courtesy of the University of Coimbra.


Marine Heritage in Northern Mozambique – return to the Ilha

Marine Heritage in Northern Mozambique – return to the Ilha

Wes Forsythe and Ana Margarida Sousa Santos

Rising from the Depths returned to Ilha de Mozambique in November to catch up with community members, share information arising from our activities and investigate new opportunities for improved outcomes for Maritime Cultural Heritage. The Northern Mozambique project had achieved a key target of completing a wide-ranging geophysical survey in the environs of the island in late 2019. However, the hiatus caused by the worldwide pandemic had resulted in missed field seasons and a regrettably long interval between survey activity and the pursuance of other objectives. This was particularly the case for the more community-focused elements of the project, which aimed to canvas community, business and institutional opinion on a range of topics relating to the Ilha’s rich maritime heritage, such as environment, livelihoods and accessibility.

Accordingly, as soon as Mozambique was removed from the UK’s ‘red list’ flights were booked and preparations made (a window of opportunity as it turned would close on the day of our return). Arriving in Nampula for the two -hour drive to the Ilha we reflected on the time that had passed and how the island had fared in our absence.  Ilha de Mozambique has been a World Heritage Site for 30 years, based almost exclusively on its colonial architecture. In contrast its maritime heritage has not received the recognition it deserves and has been compromised by the activities of salvage operators pillaging European shipwrecks for commercial purposes. Thanks to the efforts of dedicated heritage advocates the practise of licensing such companies was ended some years ago. The establishment of Centro de Arqueologia Investigação e Recursos da Ilha de Moçambique (CAIRIM) in 2018 served to put maritime heritage interests on a new footing, becoming a focus for training and research on the island. The centre are key partners in the Northern Mozambique project, along with Eduardo Mondlane University, Ulster University and the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal.

CAIRIM were the generous hosts of a workshop conducted by the project team in order to re-establish contact with the community, summarize the key results of the geophysical survey and explore future directions for maritime heritage in the region. The workshop was attended by a range of institutions and local government representatives (the mayor, museum, tourism board, Lúrio University, GACIM – the conservation agency); businesses (tour operators, shop owners); citizens and students. Attendees appreciated our efforts to personally update them on the project and were tremendously helpful in identifying key stakeholders and their contacts for interview over the following weeks.

L-R Ana Sousa Santos (RftD), Chafim Braga (CAIRIM), Wes Forsythe (RftD) and Crimildo Chambe (CAIRIM).

A further highlight was meeting with a local youth group involved in recording elements of intangible heritage from the Ilha. They were engaged in collecting a broad collection of relevant material including rituals and beliefs, language, peoples, neighbourhoods and slavery. The work is coordinated by CAIRIM’s Chafim Braga and toward the end of our trip Chafim organised a further three-day workshop presenting the intangible heritage work as a series of story-mapping projects. The workshop brought together the youth activists, members of CAIRIM’s maritime archaeology research team, and heritage professionals from Ilha and elsewhere in Mozambique. While Marine Cultural Heritage is the main focus of CAIRIM, the presentations at the workshop often elided the sharp distinction between built heritage and marine heritage, allowing for a much more integrated understanding of Ilha’s heritage landscape. This has both advantages and disadvantages when it comes to conservation efforts and the definition of spheres of responsibility blurring the arenas of intervention by different entities. Alongside the presentations and discussions there were visits to the Museum and a brief dive along the Fort showcasing the island’s diverse heritage landscape.

The time between the two workshops was spent in discussions with stakeholders, which provided context and a broader base from which to interpret on-going activities, threats, challenges, and opportunities in the Ilha. Combined with scheduled interviews were a series of serendipitous conversations with residents in Ilha as well as visitors, the Portuguese cooperation agency, and NGO workers involved in a series of local initiatives that were either directly or tangentially related to Marine Cultural Heritage, and whose perspectives and experiences were valuable. These conversations and observations helped understand the heritage environment in the Ilha as one of intense activity, with a wide diversity of projects. Activities undertaken at present address both natural and cultural environments and include the collection of plastics washed ashore, the revitalising of arts and crafts, work with school children to raise environmental concerns, and the collections of local histories and maritime traditions. While positive, these activities seldom see their efforts rewarded with continuity. Cultural Heritage in the Ilha is understood as beneficial in a province with socio-economic difficulties and low employment, however it remains remote to most of the population not working directly within the tourism or heritage sectors, suggesting the need to further awareness, and harness the local potential for development in ways that offer improved livelihoods. The project will now take these findings forward to propose a series of policy and protection recommendations aimed at regional and national agencies.

The Rising from the Depths workshop at CAIRIM

The project was pleased to return to the Ilha after a long absence and gratified by the response from the local community and all the support received by CAIRIM. Our work on long-term environmental change as a context for marine heritage continues to have resonance as a means to enhance the understanding of individual sites and climate change more broadly. While the challenges facing islanders are considerable there is reason for being optimistic that this most outstanding site for marine cultural heritage in Mozambique can offer a means to improve outcomes for communities in future.

Women’s Identity, Textiles and Heritage (WITH): Coastal Style in Mozambique

June 2021

The WITH Coastal Style project, supported by the Rising from the Depths (RftD) Network is researching the role of material heritage amongst women in coastal Katembe district, across the bay from the Mozambican capital city, Maputo. The project focuses on understanding and highlighting the complex relationship between tradition and change in the lives of women in Katembe through the capulana, a cloth worn by women throughout Mozambique. Through discussion about capulana, the project provides a forum for women to discuss wider issues relating to their lives at a time of major infrastructural development around Maputo.

In March 2020 flights were booked, visa applications processed, accommodation arranged. The plan was for the National Museums Scotland (NMS) team (Sarah Worden and John Giblin) to join the team in Maputo (Co-Investigator Valda Marcos, Post Graduate Researchers Emilia Machaieie and Claudio Mondlate, and photographer Yassmin Fortes) for the installation of a temporary exhibition at the Fortress Museum in Maputo, a milestone in the delivery of the project. Just days away from travel the pandemic hit our project plans and everything was put on hold. Challenging as this was, we are delighted to report that on 28th May 2021, over thirteen months later than originally planned the exhibition opened. Sadly the NMS team were still unable to travel to be part of the installation and opening event. As curator of the host venue, Co-Investigator Moises Timba co-ordinated the content, installation and opening of the exhibition with the rest of the Mozambican team.

Invitation to the WITH Coastal Style Exhibition opening event

The Exhibition

The exhibition takes as its focus a group of women from Katembe, a coastal fishing community on the South Western side of Maputo Bay who participated in the project research. Proposed urbanization of the Katembe area following the construction of the Maputo-Katembe Bridge in 2019 is likely to impact on the material practices and living traditions of the residents of the small fishing communities in the area. Life by and on the sea, catching, selling and eating fish, is a source of community solidarity that spans generations in Katembe. Through a series of powerful photographs taken among the mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends of Katembe the visitor is introduced to the project, the women, their coastal environment and the role of the cotton printed capulana in their lives as an expression of identity and cultural heritage.

The bi-lingual text panels (Portuguese and English) outlining the research emphasise the collaborative nature of this international project. A personal quote from one of the research participants relating to the significance of the capulana introduces each section panel.

‘I use capulana because I am a Mozambican woman!’

Dona Zena, 22 years, Mahlampfane, Katembe, November 2019

‘Every woman always has to wear a capulana … capulana can be useful in various situations … be it menstruation, pregnancy, carry a baby, go to the market, go to the hospital, in case of accident … ‘

Dona Cristina, 54 years, Guachene, Katembe, November 2019

Collected during the research interviews, these responses are incisive and thought-provoking and, with the images, have been selected to generate discussion and debate concerning the role of material heritage in connecting communities.

The exhibition is ready for visitors in the gallery space of the Fortress Museum

Opening Event

Covid restrictions limited the number of invited guests at the opening event, but a range of institutions were represented, including: Eduardo Mondlane University, Director of Culture, Faculty of Art and Social Sciences, CECOMA (Communication centre of UEM), Ministry of Culture and Tourism (National Director of Heritage), UNESCO, Fisheries Museum (Project partner), and ISARC (Higher Institute of Art & Culture, Mozambique). Among the other guests were university assistants and artists based in Maputo. A welcome speech, including a message from Sarah Worden (NMS), was delivered by RftD Network Co-ordinator for Mozambique, Solange Macamo, Lecturer of Archaeology and Heritage Management in the Department of Archaeology and Anthropology (UEM), who has, throughout the project, provided invaluable support and guidance to the project team

One of the exhibition gallery spaces at the Fortress Museum

Following the opening speeches refreshments were served and a lively performance by Sekerekane, a local female dance group. The sound for the event was organized by Julio, a DJ from the School of Communication and Art (ECA) /UEM).

Exhibition opening speeches in the grounds of the Fortress Museum

A group of women from the project research group also attended the opening, with transport from Katembe organised by the Fisheries Museum. Project team members Emilia and Claudio were on hand to guide the group through the exhibition in which the women are the ‘stars’, and to record their re-actions to the displays to include in the research. Wearing their matching capulana, the design selected by the group in November 2019, as a thank-you gift to the women for their participation in the project, their presence made a powerful visual statement of the role of the capulana in group identity.

The opening event included entertainment by Sekerekane dance troupe

Project team members Moises, Claudio and Emilia with representatives of the Katembe research group

Invited guests view the exhibition displays

Emilia introduces members of the Katembe research group to the exhibition

Members of the Katembe research group, wearing matching capulanas, are among the first to visit the displays

Members of the team have participated in a number of broadcasting events to talk about the project and the exhibition including national Radio station SFM and CECOMA, a centre of communication of UEM who also interviewed others in the project team. Moises Timba also made an appearance on the popular TVM Bom Dia Mocambique programme to talk about the exhibition. Media interest has also included interviews with Yassmin by Mazanga for Radio Mozambique and for Flash radio programme.

We look forward to further project outcomes including the preparation and opening of an itinerant, touring, exhibition in Katembe where the research took place organised by the Fisheries Museum in Maputo, taking the project in a different format to schools and local communities later in the year. You can see more details of the project in the link  Rising from the Depths » Women’s Identity, Textiles and Heritage: Coastal Style in Mozambique (WITH Coastal Style) and in the dedicated page of the National Museums of Scotland, at Women, identity, textiles and heritage in Mozambique | National Museums Scotland Blog