Students taking pictures and coordinate extraction of the ruins of the likely former navy prison , August 2019

Reviving a Maritime project: Architectural and Ecological Heritage of Chinde-Mozambique

Reviving a Maritime Past: Architectural and ecological heritage of Chinde, MozambiqueRoberto Mussibora, Joaquim Campira, Francis Massé & Manuel Chigarisso

Sawing Cutting Mangrove Trunks for Wood, August 2019

Sawing Cutting Mangrove Trunks for Wood, August 2019

Like other coastal communities, the population of Chinde has a heavy reliance on mangrove ecosystems for their livelihoods. In Chinde, this dependence is having harmful results, even threatening the physical integrity of the village due to coastal erosion caused not only by the indiscriminate felling of mangrove trees and the extraction of clay for house building, but also by sea level rise and reduction of water in the Zambezi River.

Effects of Coastal Erosion in Chinde, August 2019

Effects of Coastal Erosion in Chinde, August 2019

As part of our field survey throughout Chinde village, we witnessed the increasing levels of erosion and consequent degradation of the socio-ecological surroundings of ​​Chinde. Communities in the area are unanimous in stating that today, Chinde is in its 3rd city phase. The third phase refers to the newest phase of city building as coastal erosion will have destroyed what would be the original two phases of city construction, known as the 1st and 2nd city, including much of the original infrastructure and architecture from those periods. The 1st and 2nd city also represent the original centre of the city  of Chinde.

Throughout our survey we see evidence of the central zone (1st and 2nd Chinde) in the form of remains of structures and artefacts (roads, locomotive debris, coffers and boats) along the coastline and in the mouth of the river Chinde / Zambezi River.

We kicked off our workshop by introducing the Reviving a Maritime project: Architectural and Ecological Heritage of Chinde-Mozambique (RMP: AEHChinde-Mz) and Rising from the Depths and its funding partners, Global Challenges Research Fund & Arts & Humanities Research Council.

Being smaller in size, our Workshop in Chinde had a main target of training a group 10 people (6 females and 4 males) on how to document, manage and disseminate the existing Architectural and Ecological Cultural Heritage in Chinde. The presentations were subdivided into two sections: Ecological Heritage and Architectural Cultural Heritage.

Workshop Participants, August 2019

Workshop Participants, August 2019

 

Ecological Heritage

Local fisherman on the shore of Micaúne, Chinde August 2019

Local fisherman on the shore of Micaúne, Chinde August 2019

Ecological heritage plays an important role in the culture, economy and social aspects of the community, shaping their lifestyle and livelihoods in ways where the community depends on their natural surroundings, including elements of biodiversity and ecosystems that the local environment offers. The purpose of focusing on ecological heritage in the workshop was to empower and instill in local students the knowledge and tools for identifying ecological heritage, the processes involved in ecological identification and ways of preserving heritage in a time of climate change and unsustainable exploitation of biodiversity and its ecosystems. The workshop also emphasized the relevance of coastal erosion and its impact on the architectural and ecological heritage, including the socio-economic and cultural dynamics of Chinde.

Boat made from mangrove trees, August 2019

Boat made from mangrove trees, August 2019

After the end of the ecological heritage section of the workshop, students expressed interest in voluntarily collaborating on data collection in the field for the RMP: AEHChinde-Mz project. They saw the project as presenting issues of social and cultural importance. They also expressed concerns of open fecalism on the beach, and through discussions have challenged themselves to set up a student club at the local school (Chinde Secondary School). Such a club will aim to raise awareness of the importance of preserving local heritage and the risks posed by some unsustainable exploitation practices of the elements of local biodiversity and ecosystem on local heritage and socio-economic and cultural aspects associated with climate change.

Identification of mangrove species and likely areas of higher incidence with help from the local community, August 2019

Identification of mangrove species and likely areas of higher incidence with help from the local community, August 2019

Two members of local institutions (Environment and Forest and Wildlife technicians) also participated in the workshop and made themselves available to continue data collection. In addition, technicians benefited from basic training on coastal erosion risk zone mapping techniques and their importance, as well as the enhancement of some basic local ecosystem services, and the creation of a database to better understand the dynamics of erosion. They also learned basic skills for using photography and film to document a continually degrading coast.

Architectural Cultural Heritage

The architecture and cultural heritage focus examined the built urban environment of Chinde, from the pre-colonial era, British concession, to the present time.

Participants were actively involved and together reflected on the issue of sustainable conservation of maritime cultural heritage, with more emphasis on architectural heritage, in order to preserve and repurpose existing structures.

Abandoned property in state of deterioration in Chinde, August 2019

Abandoned property in state of deterioration in Chinde, August 2019

The workshop focused on training participants on basic techniques of surveying, inventory making and documenting buildings that may be classified as national cultural heritage. This included specific training on the use of plaques and photography in preserving, documenting  and promoting this architectural heritage. The survey work and training was conducted on maps.me, a free smartphone app, that can work offline (without any network connection), and is capable of storing over 500 points, as well as including notes to these points. The maps.me accuracy error is less than 10 m, and is accessible to all smartphone devices, since gps is expensive and inaccessible.

Photographic illustration training for real estate with students, August 2019

Photographic illustration training for real estate with students, August 2019

Photographic illustration training for real estate with students 2, August 2019

Photographic illustration training for real estate with students 2, August 2019

Points (real estate) extracted by maps.me on Chinde, August 2019

Points (real estate) extracted by maps.me on Chinde, August 2019

Students taking pictures and coordinate extraction of the ruins of the likely former navy prison , August 2019

Students taking pictures and coordinate extraction of the ruins of the likely former navy prison , August 2019

Students taking pictures and coordinate extraction of the ruins of the former warehouse, August 2019.

Students taking pictures and coordinate extraction of the ruins of the former warehouse, August 2019.

At the end of the workshop, we took the students to survey the properties located in the risk zone, while the other group of students photographed the properties for the documentation and inventory process. We were able to feel the enthusiasm and participation of the students throughout the sections and training sessions. Several related discussions emerged about the sustainability and symbioses between architectural, cultural, and ecological heritage.

Workshop Participants 2, August 2019

Workshop Participants 2, August 2019

Our workshop and training received strong and enthusiastic support from the local community and the Chinde District Government. They welcomed us warmly and provided us with the necessary room and equipment for the presentations. In the course of the fieldwork, the Chinde Government provided us with a boat to cross to the Micaúne (opposite Chinde) and motorbike for areas without car access. We therefore take this opportunity to reiterate our thanks to all officials of the Chinde District Government, in particular Administrator Pedro Vírgula, for the support offered.

Photo with workshop participants, August 2019

Photo with workshop participants, August 2019

Famous boat-shaped building from the Senna Sugar States Lda era “mezingo” in abandoned status, Chinde.

Heritage at risk in Chinde, Mozambique

Reviving a Maritime Past: Architectural and ecological heritage of Chinde, Mozambique – Roberto Mussibora

Panoramic view of Chinde Zambeze River Landim Beach Chinde

Panoramic view of Chinde Zambeze River Landim Beach Chinde

Old Colonial Square and Administration Building

Old Colonial Square and Administration Building

Under national precepts (Mozambique), the inventory appears to be a primary technical procedure for the conservation of cultural heritage. Therefore, the inventorying process aims to know, document and evaluate the state of conservation, as well as define the cultural significance of real estate for local communities.

Former Port Authority Building “Capitania do Porto’’ (office)

Former Port Authority Building “Capitania do Porto’’ (office)

The lack of inventory generally translates into the lack of conservation, protection and even the inexistence / lack of knowledge of heritage assets which, despite having high heritage values ​​evidenced by their history or, even their architectural and cultural significance, cease to exist because there is nothing listed, and often interpretations of such properties end up being arbitrary and changeable.

Chinde District Government Building

Chinde District Government Building

Old Chinde Library

Old Chinde Library

Therefore, our project “RMP: AEHChinde-Mz” aims primarily to document the architectural and ecological cultural heritage in the village of Chinde in southern Zambezia province in Mozambique. The study is based on documentation by photography, maps, structured and semi-structured interviews with the local population in order to understand the challenges and threats of this type of heritage and ways of mitigation.

Chinde is located in a region with an abundant hydrological network, resulting from the Zambezi delta. The location of Chinde appeared to be an imperative for the emergence of this place as an urban center of port and corporate curries of the time, where it attracted several exogenous peoples, including the Arabs, British and Portuguese.

British tombstone dated 1892 and 1984 respectively. Time of the British Concession.

British tombstone dated 1892 and 1984 respectively. Time of the British Concession.

Despite the historical importance of Chinde, the cultural maritime heritage of this village is mostly in an advanced state of degradation and ruins, without even an inventory of local infrastructure, whether of interest or not. Most of the properties are in a state of abandonment, and without any use, appearing to be a city of ruins.

Abandoned property in Chinde

Abandoned property in Chinde

Famous boat-shaped building from the Senna Sugar States Lda era “mezingo” in abandoned status, Chinde.

Famous boat-shaped building from the Senna Sugar States Lda era “mezingo” in abandoned status, Chinde.

The importance and potentiality of Chinde is not only illustrated by its architectural countenance, but also by the dense mangrove forests all along the river course of the Chinde River (one of the branches of the Zambezi River) to the village of Chinde, where along the Upon our arrival at the Chinde River crossing, we were presented with lush landscapes and an exquisite display of hippos and birds of various species.

Chinde Anchorage, Chinde River Mouth.

Chinde Anchorage, Chinde River Mouth.

Hippos along the Zambezi River

Hippos along the Zambezi River

Flamingos along the Chinde River, at the confluence between the salty and sweet waters.

Flamingos along the Chinde River, at the confluence between the salty and sweet waters.

Chinde Mangrove Forest (Chinde River Bank)

Chinde Mangrove Forest (Chinde River Bank)

Chinde Mangrove Forest (Chinde River Bank)

Chinde Mangrove Forest (Chinde River Bank)

Arriving at the village, we witness the excellent symbioses between the maritime and river landscape that are aided by its location (mouth of the Chinde River) and lush architectural goods explicitly displayed and the long and well-defined streets, incorporating several buildings of great architectural, historical and expressiveness importance.

Panoramic view of the buildings of the former company, Senna Sugar States Lda located at Av. dos Heróis Moçambicanos

Panoramic view of the buildings of the former company, Senna Sugar States Lda located at Av. dos Heróis Moçambicanos

Apart from the state of conservation and lack of functionality of many properties, it should be noted that one of the biggest problems that has threatened not only the properties, but the village in general, is the coastal erosion that is at alarming levels, and which according to the population has destroyed the embryo of the Chinde village; ”1st Chinde and 2nd Chinde”, which currently from the mouth of the Chinde River mouth, which was much smaller in size.

Main street and Aspect of the old embryo village (currently nonexistent part of the Chinde River). Source www.act.iict.ptd

Main street and Aspect of the old embryo village (currently nonexistent part of the Chinde River). Source www.act.iict.ptd, Photo Santos Rufino

Old Chinde City Hall. Source www.act.iict.ptd

Old Chinde City Hall. Source www.act.iict.ptd, Photo Santos Rufino

All interviewees (natives) were unanimous in stating that coastal erosion originated initially from mangrove cutting along the banks of the Zambezi River, on the side of Chinde village, after the rural exodus from Luabo to Chinde in the Civil War period, where Luabo will suffer armed attacks. Thus, without conditions, refugee populations in Chinde saw the mangrove as a support, where they used the mangrove for logging, building their new homes for sale, to make firewood and charcoal.

RMP AEHChinde-Mz (Roberto Mussibora and Joaquim Campira), in an interview with Mrs. Ema (native and resident of Chinde)

RMP AEHChinde-Mz (Roberto Mussibora and Joaquim Campira), in an interview with Mrs. Ema (native and resident of Chinde)

It is important to reiterate that according to native respondents, mangrove slaughter before independence was a serious crime, and mangrove use as firewood was only done by picking up dry branches, and never by slaughter.

Mangrove tree sawmill in Bairro Amarelo, Chinde

Mangrove tree sawmill in Bairro Amarelo, Chinde

Large-scale felling (1980s after rural exodus in the Civil War period) and small-scale (at present) contributed significantly to the clearing of mangrove forests on the Chinde River bank on the village side. Another factor that has contributed to the deforestation of mangrove forests and coastal erosion is the reduction of the waters of the Zambezi River (main river) / increase of sea waters, which causes seawater penetration and the consequent salinization of the river Chinde.

As a result, all these factors end up affecting not only the coastal vegetation, but the entire coastal and fluvial ecosystem of Chinde.

In the years ago, there was a willow replanting programs as a way to curb coastal erosion. The measure was positive, but had counterproductive effects due to salinization of the waters.

Coastal erosion on the bank of the Chinde River in the village of Chinde

Coastal erosion on the bank of the Chinde River in the village of Chinde

Situation of vulnerability of local communities due to coastal erosion

Situation of vulnerability of local communities due to coastal erosion

Another factor that contributes negatively to coastal erosion is the extraction of “lodo” mud in the mangroves for use in the construction of local houses, causing no support for willow plants.

Extraction of “lodo” clay by women for towing walls of local houses. In Chinde, towing is an activity usually done by women

Extraction of “lodo” clay by women for towing walls of local houses. In Chinde, towing is an activity usually done by women

Houses of local architecture made of pau-à-pique, made of mangrove sticks and mud “lodo”.

Houses of local architecture made of pau-à-pique, made of mangrove sticks and mud “lodo”.

Clay extraction site. Mouth of the Chinde River

Clay extraction site. Mouth of the Chinde River

Another major constraint is the destruction of abandoned properties for the construction of local houses, as in the non-quarry village for extraction of construction rocks.

Property under destruction for the extraction of broken pieces of the walls for vernacular buildings (pau-à-pique houses).

Property under destruction for the extraction of broken pieces of the walls for vernacular buildings (pau-à-pique houses).

It should be explicitly stated that Chinde communities are dependent on the mangrove forest and its ecosystems.

Access roads to Chinde village

Access roads to Chinde village

Access roads to Chinde village

Access roads to Chinde village

In addition to the various constraints raised above, it should also be noted that Chinde has very degraded access roads and lack of direct access (as it is remotely divided by the Zambezi delta). Therefore, the access roads to Chinde do not have sufficient and safe conditions for the circulation of vehicles, as they have no asphalt, are very narrow and have many holes. Therefore access to Chinde village can only be done by boat or barge crossing.

Despite the constraints attached to the conservation of this heritage, local people are filled with glory to describe how important this “forgotten” place was in the past, where on the basis of a significant sample, I can say that the population is unanimous in recognizing the urgency and necessity of preservation of its architectural heritage of Chinde. In addition, we have received numerous congratulations and active collaboration from local communities on the initiative of our project, where like us, we also believe that our inventory is a primary measure of conserving and envisioning the potential maritime cultural heritage in Chinde.

Joaquim Campira (co-researcher of the RMP AEChinde-Mz) identifying the species and current mangrove slaughtering areas.

Joaquim Campira (co-researcher of the RMP AEChinde-Mz) identifying the species and current mangrove slaughtering areas.

Joaquim Campira and Manuel Chigarisso (RMP AEChinde-Mz co-investigator) identifying the species and current mangrove slaughtering areas.

Joaquim Campira and Manuel Chigarisso (RMP AEChinde-Mz co-investigator) identifying the species and current mangrove slaughtering areas.

Running a photogrammetry workshop in preparation for the second phase of fieldwork

Northern Mozambique Project – Geophysical Survey Overview

Marine Cultural Heritage in Norther Mozambique – Wes Forsythe

Our Rising from the Depths project in northern Mozambique has been concerned with understanding the natural environment as a context for marine and underwater cultural heritage. A large dataset of geophysical survey results captured around Mozambique Island (Ilha de Mozambique) allows for new insights and features to emerge demonstrating the long history of sea-level change and its relevance for today’s communities in the context of climate change. In this blog we provide some of the first imagery derived from the survey work, which was conducted with colleagues from Centro de Arquelogia Investigção e Recursos da Ilha de Moçambique (CAIRIM) and the local community in Mozambique Island and marine heritage practitioners from the region.

Global sea level was -120m to -130m lower than present at the height of the last Ice Age (roughly 20,000 years ago) because vast quantities of ocean water were locked up in ice sheets. The coastal landscape inhabited by prehistoric people was therefore very different to today. Away from the large continental ice sheets the fall in sea level exposed large tracts of land, allowing rivers to cut across what is now the continental shelf and pushing coastlines out towards the shelf edge. Over time, global climate warmed, the ice melted and sea level rose. These landscapes, and any archaeological evidence they contained, were flooded and now lie on, or buried under the seabed.

Previous studies in Southeast Africa have identified remnants of these submerged landscapes. These types of evidence have been found off the KwaZulu Natal coast of South Africa and as far north as Maputo in southern Mozambique. The evidence includes former shoreline complexes, incised valleys and their sedimentary fills and shallow water/lagoonal sediments found at depth on the continental shelf.  The resulting evidence has also been used to provide insights into the timing, pattern and rate of the post-Ice Age sea-level rise. However, elsewhere on the East African coast, investigations of submerged landscapes and sea-level change are few and far between. The new evidence from northern Mozambique therefore represents a step towards filling this gap.

Consequently, the main aim of the December 2019 marine geophysical survey of Mozambique Island was to see if we could find any evidence of past sea level in this area. We chose to focus on two main areas. Firstly, the outer edge of the shelf fronting the Baie de Mozambique. Secondly, the channels which form the bay’s deeper entrances and allow access to the shallow waters behind the Island [1]. By using both multibeam echosounder (MBES) and sub-bottom profiler (SBP), we hoped to capture the geomorphic expression of relict landforms exposed on the seabed as well as features and stratigraphy which are currently buried under the seabed. The acquired data are still being analysed, but even so, a preliminary examination has been able to identify a number of features of geological and archaeological interest.

1_Moz_correc[1] The survey area at Ilha de Mozambique. Red lines indicate location of SBP data shown in subsequent figures.

[1] The survey area at Ilha de Mozambique. Red lines indicate location of SBP data shown in subsequent figures.

Our main area of MBES survey covered the outer shelf fronting the Baie, an area of ~13km2. The resulting Digital Elevation Model (DEM) has a spatial resolution of up to 1m and shows a steep shelf which descends from ~-20m at the Baie entrance to almost -200m within a kilometre offshore. Several features of interest are visible on the MBES, the clearest being a narrow channel cut into the seabed between the Ile de Goa and Ile de Sena. At face value, this seems to provide a great example of a former river valley which was incised when sea level was lower [2]. Also apparent on the MBES are several submerged breaks in slope. The clearest one forms a distinct cliff line both north and south of the incised channel (but is absent in front of the channel). Where the base of the cliff is clearly visible, its depth is at ~-65m. At least two other low ridges/breaks in slope occur landward of the cliff line at depths of ~-35m to -40m. It is presently unclear whether these features represent former palaeo-shorelines. The depth of the submerged cliff line superficially matches palaeo-shoreline complexes (-60m) from KwaZulu Natal, but further analysis is needed to conform this. Fortunately, there was also enough time (and budget!) to acquire smaller patches of MBES around the northern end of the Ilha. These give glimpses of the inner parts of the Baie showing in particular the deeply incised nature of the channel between the Ilha and the mainland [3]. These data also captured some of the historic shipwrecks which are known to lie here and which will be the subject of future blog posts.

 

[2] Potential submerged landscape features visible on the offshore part of the MBES data

[2] Potential submerged landscape features visible on the offshore part of the MBES data

[3] Detail from the inner Baie de Mozambique showing the main channel to the NE of the Ilha

[3] Detail from the inner Baie de Mozambique showing the main channel to the NE of the Ilha

 

Meanwhile, SBP acquisition was arranged to give a series of profiles running offshore from the coast to the shelf edge and across and along the channels. These were sited to establish the wider stratigraphic sequence and provide targeted data over the channels which could demonstrate how they responded to sea-level change. Starting with the outer shelf, the SBP profiles clearly show that the channel visible on the MBES is actually incised to a considerable depth below the seabed and was later infilled [4]. In fact, the SBP data also show that it extends seaward of its surface expression as a completely infilled valley. The SBP data also confirmed the existence of the distinct cliff line on the outer shelf, and also suggests that its base is buried, and in some cases there may also be a deeper buried break in slope at ~-92m [5]. In the outer part of the Baie, channels are also clearly visible on the SBP data, incised below the seabed and subsequently infilled [6]. In all cases, the nature of these infills requires further analysis. Other potential features of interest include terraces cut into the flanks of the channels and secondary channels paralleling the main channel [6]. Finally, the stratigraphy becomes more complex in the inner part of the Baie behind the Ilha. Whilst the seabed surface appears to be relatively undulating, the SBP results show a more rugged, buried topography. These include high points with an acoustic character suggestive of reefs and basins which have been infilled by horizontal or gently-dipping layers sediment, possibly suggestive of deposition in lagoonal or sheltered water conditions.

 

[4] Buried palaeo-channel cut c.78m into the seabed. Top image shows uninterpreted SBP data, bottom images shows data with interpreted features indicated.

[4] Buried palaeo-channel cut c.78m into the seabed. Top image shows uninterpreted SBP data, bottom images shows data with interpreted features indicated.

[5] The underwater cliff line and suggestion of a buried deeper break in slope. Top image shows uninterpreted SBP data, bottom images shows data with interpreted features indicated.

[5] The underwater cliff line and suggestion of a buried deeper break in slope. Top image shows uninterpreted SBP data, bottom images shows data with interpreted features indicated.

[6] Buried channels in the outer Bay with secondary features. Top image shows uninterpreted SBP data, bottom images shows data with interpreted features indicated.

[6] Buried channels in the outer Bay with secondary features. Top image shows uninterpreted SBP data, bottom images shows data with interpreted features indicated.

 

All the above is still work in progress, with interpretations to be confirmed by additional processing and analysis. However, even this preliminary glimpse has shown us the potential of these data to contribute to our understanding of sea-level change and palaeo-landscape evolution on the coast of East Africa. The survey work will form a component of the training on the tools and techniques used being delivered to the community on the Ilha and will inform new exhibition materials for the CAIRM facility on the island.

Running a photogrammetry workshop in preparation for the second phase of fieldwork

Marine Cultural Heritage in Northern Mozambique – Underwater survey and long-term climate change

Marine Cultural Heritage in Northern Mozambique 

Northern Mozambique formed part of the Indian Ocean trade network from the 7th century, which gave rise to a vibrant maritime culture of settlement, travel and exchange. The most well-known site is Mozambique Island, a major port of significance for East African maritime trade from the 14th century. It became the capital of Portuguese colonial government from 1507 and its architectural diversity was recognised by UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 1991. Despite the wealth of archaeological sites located in the waters around the Island, Marine Cultural Heritage (MCH) has not received the attention and protection it deserves. Pressures on the resource have ranged from damage by salvage operations, insensitive development, to poor fishing practises and pollution.

In response the Centro de Arquelogia Investigção e Recursos da Ilha de Moçambique (CAIRIM) is vitally important in providing a focus for the study and conservation of marine cultural heritage on the island and for efforts to reach and engage with the local community. An initiative of Eduardo Mondlane university, CAIRIM has been a key partner of the Northern Mozambique project as it develops new ways of exploring, understanding and celebrating Marine Cultural Heritage.

One such effort to develop new dimensions for MCH is a major campaign of underwater survey touching on themes hitherto unexplored in the region. The Mozambique coast is little studied from a coastal geomorphology perspective and very little baseline information exists on fairweather processes, storm impacts, or sea-level change, all of which shape the landscape and influence livelihoods. The coast and continental shelf contain important indicators of past sea- levels, including former shorelines now submerged. The nature of the geomorphic record provides indications of coastal response to former sea-level change and, taken in conjunction with the contemporary coastal morphology and projected future sea- levels, provides an insight into likely future conditions and the challenges they pose to inhabitants, the local economy and the cultural and biological heritage.

Survey work underway on SV Bom Dia at Ilha de Mozambique

Survey work underway on SV Bom Dia at Ilha de Mozambique

Toward the end of 2019 we deployed a range of geophysical equipment in the waters adjacent to the island. In total over 100km of seismic data and c.25ha of multibeam sonar imagery were collected. The seismic technique is capable of penetrating the seabed and thus detecting buried features that reveal the changes to the environment, for example former river channels which were submerged by sea-level rise and now infilled with sediment. The multibeam sonar measures depth with great accuracy enabling a high-resolution 3D model of the seabed to be produced which includes natural and cultural points of interest. Mozambique Island lies within a large, shallow embayment with deeper channels approaching its anchorage to the north. These exit into the Indian Ocean where the bathymetry deepens swiftly at a submerged shelf that runs parallel to the East African coast. Work concentrated on this area of the shelf which can reveal ‘terraces’, palaeo-channels and other relic geomorphological features suggesting the presence of earlier shorelines and former landscapes under lower sea-level conditions.

Survey tracks and colour-coded multibeam imagery of the seabed in the environs of Mozambique Island superimposed onto a recent Sentinel-2 satellite image. Warm colours indicate shallow water, shading to colder colours for deeper water

Survey tracks and colour-coded multibeam imagery of the seabed in the environs of Mozambique Island superimposed onto a recent Sentinel-2 satellite image. Warm colours indicate shallow water, shading to colder colours for deeper water

An offshore channel meanders toward the deep-water shelf at the edge of Mozambique Island’s embayment.

An offshore channel meanders toward the deep-water shelf at the edge of Mozambique Island’s embayment.

Seismic data line revealing the presence of a submerged palaeo-channel (right) within the bay. Such channels demonstrate the former morphology of the bay and the environmental regime that produced them.

Seismic data line revealing the presence of a submerged palaeo-channel (right) within the bay. Such channels demonstrate the former morphology of the bay and the environmental regime that produced them.

Survey data is still under analysis and will form a key element of the training and materials the project will be delivering on its return to Mozambique Island. The survey team’s field visit coincided with a UNESCO training workshop hosted by CAIRIM on the Island. This allowed not only CAIRIM personnel and community volunteers to join the survey vessel but also maritime cultural heritage practitioners from the wider region. In addition, we joined the workshop back at base to deliver training insights on the geophysical techniques employed and their display and interpretation. Once all data is processed a further set of interpretative and training materials will be developed to conclude the surveys findings.

Onboard training to UNESCO delegates, CAIRIM personnel and community volunteers

Onboard training to UNESCO delegates, CAIRIM personnel and community volunteers

As fascinating as the emerging survey results are, they are not undertaken in isolation of the broader aims of contextualising past climate change in order to meet the challenges of current sea-level threats and other pressures. The project’s return to the island was disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis, however this involves an ongoing programme of training, community engagement and ethnographic survey. In addition work in partnership with CAIRIM will involve returning to shipwrecks imaged during the survey in order to enhance our understanding of them and assess their vulnerability.

Running a photogrammetry workshop in preparation for the second phase of fieldwork

Running a photogrammetry workshop in preparation for the second phase of fieldwork

 

Dr Caridad Ballesteros presenting the project

CoastSnap Update

CoastSnap Mozambique – Caridad Ballesteros

CoastSnap Mozambique encourages participants to take photos of the coastline so that changes can be mapped. See a selection of images below from the CoastSnap locations in Tofo and Ilha.

You can follow the progress of CoastSnap on Twitter (@CoastSnapMOZ) and on Facebook.

The focus group and project team with Dr Solange Macamo (far left), Incassane

WITH Coastal Style Interviews in Katembe

Sarah Worden and Solange Macamo

Project Co-Investigator, Solange Macamo, has joined the WITH Coastal Style team during their interviews in Katembe.

Solange said: “I have joined the field work, in Katembe and I have learnt how to interview women there, for collecting  data about textiles. Women were proud to tell their life history related to textiles. There are both social and economic values associated to the textiles, as part of the marine cultural heritage,  specifically in Katembe. My role in the field was to help to translate whenever it was necessary.”

You can read the full blog on the visit here.

Contemporary coastal themed capulana designs purchased in Maputo November 2019

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

Women’s Identity, Textiles and Heritage: Coastal Style in Mozambique (WITH Coastal Style) is a one-year project (June 2019-June 2020), researching and promoting women’s identities and concerns linked to marine heritage in Katembe District, Maputo, Mozambique.

The WITH Coastal Style project, supported by the Rising from the Depths Network https://risingfromthedepths.com/withcoastalstyle/, continue to undertake research into 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.

View across the bay to Maputo city from Incassane, Katembe

View across the bay to Maputo city from Incassane, Katembe

The project is investigating contemporary and historical capulana practice through focus group surveys, individual interviews and archival research. For example, project Research Assistants, Emilia Machaiaie and Claudio Mondlate, have been undertaking archival research at University of Eduardo Mondlane. In addition, research at the Iconoteca do Arquivo Histo’rico de Mozambique, has identified photography from the early to mid- 20th century, which provides us with fascinating early visual references to the use of capulana by women in the region, from market scenes to the use of the cloth as a wrapper for new-born babies. Research has also led us to the Centro de Documentacao e Formacao Photographic Archive, Mozambique where there is a collection of photographs taken by the famous Mozambican, Maputo based photojournalist, Ricardo Rangel, whose work includes a series on Katembe, taken in the mid-20th century.

I returned to Mozambique in November to catch up with the Maputo-based team members and to join them for more research visits to Katembe to undertake focus groups and interviews with women identified by Project Co-I Valda Marcos through Romao Vicente and Bernardo Martiaho from the Department of Fisheries. During these visits, the project gathered information from communities in Katembe distributed along the coastline. This was made possible with the support of community leaders. The complexities of liaising with women with busy working lives required flexibility. Many of the women are responsible for the processing and sale of daily catches of fish and for growing vegetable crops on their small plots of land. During my visit there were torrential, and unusually long-lasting bouts of rainfall, attributed by the Katembe community to climate change, which necessitated some interviews to be re-scheduled at short notice as women went to work in their fields to maintain their young crops, particularly precious as the previous season’s drought, also believed to be the result of climate change, had resulted in a seed shortage.

Over three days of research visits in Mahlampfane, Guachene and Incassane neighbourhoods, we were able to reach and speak to a total of sixteen women ranging in age from 19 to 67 years. Focus groups and interviews, in either Shangana or Portuguese languages, were led by Research Assistant Emilia. All the women included in the research were born and raised in Katembe. Many of them are mothers and daughters who still live in close proximity, while others, if not related, are lifelong friends.

These included a focus group in Mahlampfane with three women Ana, Katarina and Zenia who ranged in age from mid-sixties to early twenties. Following our arrival and our introduction to the project, one of them went into her house and returned with three capulana, which she kindly presented as gifts of welcome for each of the team. The capulana is a popular gift for special occasions including birthday, Valentine’s day, naming ceremonies, weddings and funerals.

Zenia, Ana, Katarina and the team wearing our capulana gifts, Mahlampfane

Zenia, Ana, Katarina and the team wearing our capulana gifts, Mahlampfane

The interviews focused on personal capulana collections, which included Cristina, who we first met in July during a focus group. She has an extraordinary collection numbering over 150 different patterned cloths which she had collected over some twenty years.

Cristina and some of her collection including the popular checked capulana design, Guachene

Cristina and some of her collection including the popular checked capulana design, Guachene

In our interviews with mother and daughters Margarida, Tsaura and Rosa, also in Guachene neighbourhood, the role of the capulana as a symbol of shared identity was revealed, when they each showed us cloth with the same design, chosen by their group of family and friends and worn on National Women’s Day celebrations in Katembe in 2018.

Sisters Rosa and Tsaura with their growing collection of capulana, Katembe

Sisters Rosa and Tsaura with their growing collection of capulana, Katembe

We were delighted to welcome Dr Solange Macamo, Rising from the Depths Network Co-ordinator for Mozambique on the visit to Incassane where we held a focus group of nine women aged 32-67 years. The opportunity to participate in the project was greeted with a degree of curiosity and then enthusiasm, with our questions provoking detailed responses and discussion, just as elsewhere in Katembe district.

The focus group and project team, Incassane

The focus group and project team, Incassane

The focus group and project team with Dr Solange Macamo (far left), Incassane

The focus group and project team with Dr Solange Macamo (far left), Incassane

While I was in Maputo we also began the next phase in planning and design of the project exhibition at the Fortress Museum, overseen by Curator and Project Co-I Moises Timba. We will draw on the photographs of the research visits by project photographer Yassmin Forte, and the forthcoming transcriptions of the interview’s audio recordings in Portuguese and English for display content.

Before I returned to Edinburgh I also took the opportunity to visit Casa Pandia with Emilia, a Maputo ‘institution’ trading in capulana, where I bought two more contemporary capulana with coastal themed designs to add to another from the market. These will join those already acquired on my first visit for the Fisheries Museum and National Museums Scotland textile collections. With a total of eleven to date, I’m not sure there are many left to find, but we will continue to look out for more!

The final interviews are scheduled to be completed following the end of my visit and I look forward to more revealing insights into the role of the capulana in the cultural heritage of women in the coastal communities of Katembe.

Contemporary coastal themed capulana designs purchased in Maputo November 2019

Contemporary coastal themed capulana designs purchased in Maputo November 2019

National Museum of Scotland Eduardo Mondlane Fortress Museum and Fisheries Museum Logo
View from the flight to Inhambane with coastal dunes and lakes in Vilankulos

CoastSnap Mozambique project is launched! A citizen-science coastal monitoring initiative (Part3)

Cari Ballesteros

In the final days of our hectic trip around Mozambique, the teams from UEM and BU flew from Maputo to Inhambane on the 3rd of August. Luciana and I, with our cameras ready to take the best shots of the Mozambique coast from the air, were amazed by the landscape beneath us. The coastal formation of the Macaneta spit in Maputo, coastal dune ridges, river meanders and disconnected meanders were like scenes from another planet. The lakes near Vilankulos and the coast from Vilankulos to Inhambane, the Bazaruto Archipelagos National Park introduced me to shades of blue I had never seen before. The Bay of Inhambane was no less fascinating, with the mixture of blue sea and white corallines sand dunes, and the coastal mangroves in the rivermouths were breath-taking!

View from the flight to Inhambane with coastal dunes and lakes in Vilankulos

View from the flight to Inhambane with coastal dunes and lakes in Vilankulos

View of Inhambane Bay and mangrove forest

View of Inhambane Bay and mangrove forest

In a taxi on our way to our last study area, Praia do Tofo, a landscape covered with palm trees revealed that I was in Inhambane. My Co-I, Pedrito from Ilha, had advised me previously “you are going to like Tofo, with its palm trees!”, but not only the vegetation was different to that seen on my journey around Nampula, with its cashew, banana and baobab trees, or the scrub vegetation around Maputo, the houses were built with the different materials and vegetation available at each location. This was interesting for me, not only from a handcraft perspective and the use of local-natural materials, but also because of my ongoing research (within the Rising from the Depths project) creating a social vulnerability index for the region, where I consider the vulnerability of constructions to the effects of natural coastal hazards.

In Praia do Tofo, from our beachside accommodation, we noticed a big spray coming from the sea. To my surprise and delight, it quickly became apparent that this was coming from a passing whale, on its migration from the north of Mozambique to South Africa. But it wasn’t alone, we had a constant view of spray and tale splashes, leaving me fascinated and Luciana and I glued to the binoculars. I guess I am not the only one in love with the area, as new developers, often not local, are creating resorts along the giant dunes, to meet the increasing demand from tourism.

After the final meeting with the Inhambane municipality administrators, to ensure they were content with the installation of the CoastSnap station in Tofo beach, we installed the station and carried out the beach survey on 6th August. The last workshop took place in the Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Turismo de Inhambane (ESHTI-UEM) organised by Dr Ernesto Macaringue, Lecturer at ESHTI-UEM, and Dr Jaime Palalane. The well-attended workshop comprised mainly of fishers’ association members, local NGOs, university students, teachers, and culture and tourism department representatives. The workshop highlighted the importance of beach monitoring and the potential for students at ESHTI and from local schools to work within the project. Some interesting ideas were raised in terms of how the project can be disseminated, such as mapping the stations, producing flyers for the tourism office and market, an exhibition of images in schools and museums and the use of images to analyse the human impacts to the beach, as well as documenting the different uses and users of the beach, and its carrying capacity.

Participants of the workshop in Inhambane-Tofo beach.

Participants of the workshop in Inhambane-Tofo beach.

Dr Ernesto Macaringue taking the first photo “snap” from the CoastSnap station in Tofo beach (#coastsnaptofo)

Dr Ernesto Macaringue taking the first photo “snap” from the CoastSnap station in Tofo beach (#coastsnaptofo)

My time in Mozambique provided a fantastic experience to better understand the importance of protecting a unique coastal heritage, intrinsically connected with the lives of the people who live there. I was able to gain an insight into the major changes taking place (e.g. occupation and development of coastal areas), which makes me think about the issues faced by overdeveloped coasts in other parts of the world (e.g. the Mediterranean region I know so well). Appreciating the local socio-economic needs and the fantastic natural attractions, visiting Mozambique enhanced my interest in research that can contribute to more sustainable coastal development, where livelihoods and future generations are not compromised. CoastSnap Mozambique is helping to provide to a better understanding of the natural-physical capacity of beaches to protect against coastal hazards, their social and cultural relevance and the importance of the collection of data for best practice and management of this sensitive and changeable coastal fringe.

The next steps on the project are the analysis of the photos received and the continued dissemination of the results. After meeting with school teachers during the workshops, school projects will soon be developed, where students will work on different activities to integrate the CoastSnap project within their curricula.

Participate in the project! If you are travelling to any of the three CoastSnap Mozambique sites: Ilha de Moçambique, Ponta do Ouro (Maputo) and Tofo beach (Inhambane), find the CoastSnap stand, take a picture from there and share it using hashtag #coastsnapilha, #coastsnapponta and/or #coastsnaptofo. Find out more in our Facebook page (@CoastSnapMoz), the Rising from the Depths website or send an email to coastsnap.mozambique@gmail.com

The second CoastSnap Mozambique workshop in Ponta do Ouro

CoastSnap Mozambique project is launched! A citizen-science coastal monitoring initiative (Part2)

Cari Ballesteros

Continuing our work in the CoastSnap Mozambique project, we drove from Maputo to Ponta do Ouro, a popular touristic spot about 12 km north of the border with South Africa. In the recent past, the journey from Maputo to Ponta used to take over 4 hours and require a 4×4 vehicle. The new paved road has facilitate access and the journey now takes about 90 minutes, which is expected to increase the number of tourists and accelerate development pressures. This was one of the drivers underpinning the decision to install a CoastSnap station in Ponta.

Ponta is a beautiful spot, with a beach-dune ecosystem where new hotels and restaurants have been established on the dune ridge. This is in contrast to Ilha de Moçambique, where narrow beaches are surrounded by a coralline platform and bounded by settlements. Not only the physical configuration of the beaches was different, but also how the spaces were used. In Ilha, I could understand the importance of local fisheries on the livelihoods of the population. As a person who enjoys crafts, I was amazed by the boats in Ilha, handmade with tree bark, but at the same time, as a former professional lifeguard, I was fearful of the risk taken by the fishers using such a small “shell”, exposed to the weather and sea conditions. In Ponta do Ouro, although I had the opportunity to see some mussel collectors in rocky areas when the tide was out, the sea and the beach is principally a provider of tourism, particularly now with good road access to/from Maputo and South Africa.

Our activities for the day went as planned, in the morning we held the workshop in the hotel Kaya-Kweru, where attendees arrived slowly. The meeting started with a welcome from the Director of the Marine Reserve, who gave a brief overview of the Marine Reserve and the work they are doing there. Among the attendees were local authorities, a journalist, entrepreneurs, hoteliers, Marine Reserve employees and school teachers. After the presentation of the project by Dr Jaime Palalane and Dr Luciana Esteves, and while working in small groups, some good ideas emerged from the participants in the ways the project should be disseminated, such as the key points of the workshop though local WhatsApp groups, and other potential uses of the project, such as focusing on litter problems, or monitoring the dunes.

The second CoastSnap Mozambique workshop in Ponta do Ouro

The second CoastSnap Mozambique workshop in Ponta do Ouro

Participants of the workshop in Ponta do Ouro

Participants of the workshop in Ponta do Ouro

After the workshop, the team worked on the installation of the CoastSnap station and the beach survey. Work completed in Ponta, we returned to Maputo to fly from there to Inhambane, and install a CoastSnap station in Tofo beach. You can find out about Tofo in the next blog.

Fieldwork in Ponta do Ouro for the installation of the CoastSnap station

Fieldwork in Ponta do Ouro for the installation of the CoastSnap station

Dr Nordino taking the first photo “snap” of the beach from the CoastSnap station in Ponta do Ouro (#coastsnapponta)

Dr Nordino taking the first photo “snap” of the beach from the CoastSnap station in Ponta do Ouro (#coastsnapponta)

Participate in the project! If you are travelling to any of the three CoastSnap Mozambique sites: Ilha de Moçambique, Ponta do Ouro (Maputo) and Tofo beach (Inhambane), find the CoastSnap stand, take a picture from there and share it using hashtag #coastsnapilha, #coastsnapponta and/or #coastsnaptofo. Find out more in our Facebook page (@CoastSnapMoz), the Rising from the Depths website or send an email to coastsnap.mozambique@gmail.com

Leovigildo Cumbe taking the first photo “snap” from the CoastSnap station in -Praia de Miami-, the east site of the island (#coastsnapilha)

CoastSnap Mozambique project is launched! A citizen-science coastal monitoring initiative (Part1)

Cari Ballesteros

Last July I had the opportunity to travel to Mozambique to launch the CoastSnap Mozambique project. CoastSnap is a citizen science project in which participants take pictures of a beach from a particular viewpoint were a fixed metal stand is installed. The stand holds the smartphones and ensures pictures are always taken from the same position. These pictures are later shared with the project team using social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) or email. This allows the project team to build, over time, a database of images to understand shoreline behaviour, to analyse erosion, storm impacts and social beach uses. You can find CoastSnap stations in 40 locations across 10 countries and counting! We have extended the CoastSnap community to the African continent, with four stations installed in Moçambique: Ponta do Ouro (close to the border with South Africa), Tofo (in Inhambane) and two in Ilha de Moçambique.

After a long journey from London, I landed in Nampula on the 29th July, where I met my collaborators from University Eduardo Mondlane (UEM), Dr Nordino Muaievela and Leovigildo Cumbe. They had travelled from Maputo to coordinate the installation of the CoastSnap frames and the beach topography survey. We travelled by road to Ilha de Moçambique (a fascinating and somewhat frantic 3hour journey, which included, at one point, a pig on a moped!). Local collaborators were the partners from UNILURIO, Dr Pedrito Cambrao and Pinho Cololo waiting for us with a warm welcome.

The next day, I had the opportunity to appreciate the strong local connection with the sea. After checking the sites to decide on the best locations for the CoastSnap stations, we started with the installation and the beach survey. A community workshop was planned for the next day and we wanted the frames installed to showcase to participants. As part of the beach survey Leovigildo flew a drone to obtain accurate data of the beach elevations, which definitely produced a small audience of interested locals!

Dr Nordino Muaievela and Leovigildo Cumbe with the Installation of the CoastSnap station in Ilha de Moçambique and beach survey

Dr Nordino Muaievela and Leovigildo Cumbe with the Installation of the CoastSnap station in Ilha de Moçambique and beach survey

On 31st July, the first CoastSnap Mozambique workshop in Ilha de Moçambique organized by UNILURIO officially launched the project. With a healthy attendance, the workshop comprised of government representatives, school teachers, fishers’ association, hoteliers and students among others. The workshop started with opening and welcoming speeches by the Director of the Faculty of Social and Humanities Sciences at UNILURIO, the President of the Municipality of Ilha de Moçambique, the Administrator of the district and Dr Pedrito Cambrao. They highlighted the importance of the project outlining the need to better understand beach behaviour, particularly after the recent cyclones, which had some impacts in Ilha. During the workshop, local traditional dancing called “tufo” and the University Chorus delighted the participants with their singing, music, movements and colourful capulanas (a sarong-style wrap-around skirt).

UNILURIO chorus singing the University imno and representation of traditional dancing with the association of “Tufo Assanate”

UNILURIO chorus singing the University imno and representation of traditional dancing with the association of “Tufo Assanate”

With the help of a translator, I was able to introduce the project, highlighting the importance of beach monitoring and the ways participants and the local population can contribute. Finally, Dr Nordino Muaievela gave an overview of the importance of coastal areas in Mozambique and the main instruments and activities used by UEM to monitor the coast. Some interesting questions were raised from the participants, such as how this project may help to put Mozambique, and in particular Ilha de Moçambique, in the global spotlight. They also highlighted the necessity of advertising the project to reach more people, and some examples of how this could be achieved, for example by creating a video that could be displayed in the local tourist office and on social media.

Dr Caridad Ballesteros presenting the project

Dr Caridad Ballesteros presenting the project

To close the workshop, all attendees were taken to one of the two beaches where the CoastSnap stand had been installed. The team gave a demonstration of how to position a mobile phone in order to capture the beach and the ways to share this with the project partners.

Presentation of the CoastSnap station near the Fortress beach

Presentation of the CoastSnap station near the Fortress beach

Leovigildo Cumbe taking the first photo “snap” from the CoastSnap station in -Praia de Miami-, the east site of the island (#coastsnapilha)

Leovigildo Cumbe taking the first photo “snap” from the CoastSnap station in -Praia de Miami-, the east site of the island (#coastsnapilha)

As our trip in Ilha came to an end, we flew to the capital Maputo and from drove to Ponta do Ouro, in the southern part of the province of Maputo. Waiting there was Dr Jaime Palalane, co-investigator of the project from UEM, and Dr Luciana Esteves from BU, who had missed the work in Ilha due to flight delays disrupting her travel. You can follow what we did in Ponta do Ouro in the next blog.

Participate in the project! If you are travelling to any of the three CoastSnap Mozambique sites: Ilha de Moçambique, Ponta do Ouro (Maputo) and Tofo beach (Inhambane), find the CoastSnap stand, take a picture from there and share it using hashtag #coastsnapilha, #coastsnapponta and/or #coastsnaptofo. Find out more in our Facebook page (@CoastSnapMoz), the Rising from the Depths website or send an email to coastsnap.mozambique@gmail.com

2 Contemporary capulana with designs linked to coastal themes, purchased for the project in Maputo, July 2019

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

Women’s Identity, Textiles and Heritage: Coastal Style in Mozambique (WITH Coastal Style) is a one-year project (June 2019-June 2020), researching and promoting women’s identities and concerns linked to marine heritage in Katembe District, Maputo, Mozambique.

 

The project is an international collaboration between National Museums Scotland, the Fortress Museum (with Eduardo Mondlane University), and the Fisheries Museum in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Rising from the Depths Network in the United Kingdom https://risingfromthedepths.com/.

In July, I travelled from Edinburgh to Mozambique for two weeks on the first of three project visits to undertake start-up meetings with our project partners at the Fisheries and Fortress Museums, launch the project and begin the research. During the first week we held a public event at the Fortress Museum, an imposing 19th century building located on the city’s busy waterfront. The event was well attended by a variety of interested groups, including artists, designers, and academics, and at the last minute I was invited to promote the event on local radio. Co-Investigators Moises Timba from the Fortress Museum, Valda Marcos of the Fisheries Museum and John Giblin from National Museums Scotland introduced the interests of the project partners and Professor Paul Lane and Dr Solange Macame from Rising from the Depths introduced the aims of the network and the scope of the fascinating projects underway along the east African coast.  Also present were Project Research Assistants based at Eduardo Mondlate University, Claudio Mondlate and Emilia Machaieie.

At the Project launch event, Fortress Museum, Maputo, July 2019

At the Project launch event, Fortress Museum, Maputo, July 2019

I provided a detailed overview of the project background, aims and outcomes, which seeks to contribute to knowledge of marine cultural heritage (MCH) on the eastern African coast and identify ways, in times of change, that MCH can be utilized to build social cohesion. This project identifies the fundamental role of textiles and dress in the development and maintenance of identity, as expressions of the connections between people and place. It takes as its focus the role of the Mozambican capulana printed cotton cloth as markers of female identity and as archives of women’s histories and memories.

As a symbol of Mozambican heritage, capulana have been preserved and passed from one generation to the next and with them the stories of the women who wear them.  The project will focus on collecting these stories from the women who live and work among the six fishing communities of Katembe, situated on the southern bank of Maputo Bay. The projected urbanization of this region following the opening of the suspension bridge in 2019 directly linking the capital to Katembe by road, and cutting journey time into South Africa, will impact on material practices and living traditions among women in these coastal communities. Through the research local women will have the opportunity to share, not only information relating specifically to their material heritage, the capulana, but also their experiences related to life in this coastal community, and this, amongst other project outcomes, will be presented to the community and wider audiences through exhibitions in Maputo and Katembe.

Over thirty guests were present at the launch. These included students in tourism, journalism, heritage and the arts, fashion designers and representatives from ISAC (Higher Institute of Arts and Culture) and CCBM (Centro Cultural Brasil-Mozambique), the media and the museum sector. A lively question and discussion session followed the presentations, relating to issues of Mozambican material culture, heritage and identity. Conversations continued over the delicious accompanying lunch provided for guests, set out under the trees in the grounds of the Fortress. Huge thanks are due to Oswaldo, Sigone and Ed for their excellent language translation skills.

At the fish and sea food stall near the Maputo-Katembe ferry quayside July 2019

At the fish and sea food stall near the Maputo-Katembe ferry quayside July 2019

During the second week in Maputo, we undertook a visit to the district of Katembe, the focus of the research. Here, with the support of the President of the Community Council of Fisheries, we held the first of six planned focus groups with women from the fishing communities. In the shade of trees close by the jetty of Maputo-Katembe ferry we met a small group of women who had agreed to take time out from attending their stalls of fresh fish and seafood to share fascinating insights into the role of the cloths in daily life, in celebrations and as indicators of religious and political identity. We are interested to understand whether certain coastal themed designs have any cultural significance for coastal communities and a distinctive sea shell design was recognised from the photographs we showed from the NMS (1990s) capulana collection. They also confirmed that there were designs shared and worn by women in the community, of which we will learn more during further individual interviews. Interestingly, we were also told that another item of Mozambican clothing, the lenço, a patterned headscarf which has an even longer history of use than the capulana, is obligatory dress for the fish sellers, a requirement of health & safety regulations. From this first discussion I feel sure there are many more insights to come and I am particularly interested to hear the response of the younger generation to their clothing traditions as we progress.

At the focus group near the Katembe-Maputo ferry quayside July 2019

At the focus group near the Katembe-Maputo ferry quayside July 2019

Following the meeting, the team travelled along the coast to connect with other fishing communities in Katembe district, where they will continue the fieldwork in the next few months. I return in November when we will begin to develop the planned project exhibitions, one at the Fortress Museum and another community travelling exhibition. Interesting and exciting times ahead!

The collection of project inspired coastal themed capulana cloths has also begun for the Fisheries Museum, as a new resource for visitor engagement, and to add to NMS collections. Check out these great designs.

Contemporary capulana with designs linked to coastal themes, purchased for the project in Maputo, July 2019

Look out for further project updates from all the team.

Sarah Worden. August 2019

National Museum of Scotland Eduardo Mondlane Fortress Museum and Fisheries Museum Logo

CoastSnap User meeting and workshop in Toulouse (France)

Caridad Ballesteros

On 18th June 2019 the first CoastSnap User meeting took place in Toulouse (France) under the umbrella of Boot Camp Coastal Imaging 2019, organised by Dr Mitch Harley from the University of New South Wales, Australia. This was the first time the CoastSnap site owners have gathered together to discuss best practice, to share ideas and to learn key project tools. Starting in Australia, CoastSnap has been spreading around the world since 2017 with current sites in the UK, France, Brazil, Portugal, Spain and others. CoastSnap is a citizen science project in which participants take pictures of a beach from a particular viewpoint using a fixed metal stand. The stand holds the smartphones and ensures pictures are always taken from the same position. These pictures are later shared with the project team using social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) or email, and users are instructed to indicate the date and time the picture was taken. This simple idea allows the project team to build, over time, a database of images to understand shoreline behaviour, to analyse erosion, recovery cycles and storm impacts.

During the meeting, all users presented the first results and analysis for their site, as well as any difficulties experienced. I was there to present CoastSnap Mozambique, one of the 19 Rising from the Depths networkfunded projects. CoastSnap Mozambique will be the first site in Africa, which really excited the CoastSnap team, as this could bring new ways to obtain records in countries with a severe shortage of coastal data. Although it was not possible to present any outputs yet, as the CoastSnap stations will be installed in Mozambique later this month, I was really happy to present the relevance of a citizen science project in Mozambique, not only to record data in shoreline dynamics, but also to understand local perceptions of natural and cultural heritage.

CoastSnap team at Meeting

I noticed that there was something missing in all of the presentations, and that was the level of involvement of the local community. From the viewpoint of CoastSnap Mozambique, this is one of the strongest aspects. It is for this reason that in parallel to the beach surveys and the installation of the CoastSnap station (the metal frame and information boards) we will be running workshops to present the project and to understand coastal communities’ views on the project. We will consult with them, and other potential uses, over the pictures collected during the project to tackle potential concerns and conflicts which could later be built into coastal management plans. We will design activities, alongside educators, which will be carried out in schools to integrate the project outputs within sociology, the arts and science, and this will cover aspects of coastal identity and cultural and ecosystem values.

During my time in Toulouse, I learned the most technical aspects of the project, involving the analysis of coastal imaging and shoreline change using MATLAB. The tool will enable the team to analyse the series of images shared by our users, allowing us to view the evolution of the coastline over time. I will be sharing this newly acquired knowledge with my co-Investigators based in Mozambique, and these skills will then be passed on to project students within their universities, so the project can become self-sustaining after the formal project end date.

Next week, Dr Luciana Esteves (BU) and I will be in Mozambique to join the rest of the team, Dr Jaime Palalane from Eduardo Mondlane University and Dr Pedrito Cambrao from Lurio University to set up the four CoastSnap Stations and to run community workshops at each location (see table below) to encourage participation and ownership of the project and to obtain the views and knowledge of the local population.

Location Date Activity
Ilha de Moçambique Tue 30th July Beach survey and CoastSnap Installation
Wed 31st July Workshop
Ponta do Ouro (Maputo) Thu 1st Aug Beach survey and CoastSnap Installation
Fri 2nd Aug Workshop  (location: Kaya-Kweru Resort)
Tofo beach (Inhambane) Mon 5th Aug Beach survey and CoastSnap Installation
Tue 6th Aug Workshop (location: Escola Superior de Hotelaria e Turismo de Inhambane)

Snapshots of research in Maputo, Mozambique – Rosalie Hans

Being back in Mozambique for the first time since 2010 provides an interesting mixture of recognition, nostalgia and learning about the many changes the country has gone through in the last 9 years. I am fortunate to be here for one month for a pilot study on maritime museums and how these institutions can increase their role and relevance for their maritime communities. This collaborative project with Daniel Inoque of the Instituto Superior de Artes e Cultura has led us to research the Museu das Pescas in Maputo and the Museu da Marinha on Mozambique Island (Ilha de Moçambique). The first museum was opened in 2014 and shows the traditional fishing culture of the Mozambican coast in a modern building while the naval museum has been open since 1969 and forms part of a museum complex with the Palacio de São Paulo and the Museum of Sacred Art, located in a monumental building.

 

Apart from the challenge of speaking Portuguese the entire day, which I love but at times requires the patience of my colleagues, there are so many other aspects of the research that are not strictly speaking ‘research activities’ but nonetheless are necessary to make the research happen. While I was aware of this from my own PhD research in Kenya and Uganda, I still underestimated the time we are spending in meetings, making phone calls and negotiating administrative and infrastructural issues. As an early career researcher this is a useful lesson to be reminded of and hopefully the connections made and network built over these few weeks will be the foundations of future research in Mozambique on maritime cultural heritage.

 

The research so far, and the meetings with the fishing community of Costa do Sol in Maputo in particular, has been rewarding and insightful. The Conselho Comunitário de Pesca (CCP) or the Community Council of Fisheries is an active organisation at Costa do Sol, a neighbourhood known as Bairro dos Pescadores, where, unsurprisingly, the majority of people lives from artisanal (or small-scale) fishing. The president and secretary of the CCP helped us to invite different people to talk to about their perspective on fishing culture, their lives and current issues and challenges in their community and we conducted a number of interviews, returning another day for a group meeting. The different people we spoke to were keen to get across the importance of knowledge about different types of fish and preservation of the maritime ecosystem in Maputo Bay. While they showed pride in the boats they built, owned and maintained, the increase in the number of fishermen and the decrease of the average daily catch led our participants to conclude that they wanted a better life for their children outside of the fishing industry. They generally found that many Mozambicans and visitors were unaware of the hardships of fishing life.

 

In the Baixa of Maputo the Museu das Pescas is still developing its vision and direction for the future. The current indoor and outdoor exhibitions focus mainly on the material culture of the artisanal fishing industry but museum staff expressed plans to broaden its remit to include more of Mozambique’s diverse maritime heritage. We discussed how such an expansion could include the ideas of fishing communities, could be used to give visibility to the challenges of the fishing communities along the Mozambican coast and allow them to feel pride and ownership of their knowledge and skills.

 

The research continues this week in Mozambique Island, a UNESCO world heritage site in the north of Mozambique where centuries of global trade, occupation, resistance and renewal have led to a unique architectural mixture, with many different aspects of maritime cultural heritage to be considered. More on that in the next blog! Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome, just email me on Rosalie.Hans@nottingham.ac.uk!