Mozambique : Culture

Many of the cultural traditions of the Mozambican people survived centuries of colonialism. The Makonde in the north are renowned for their ebony sculptures and masks. The Chopi of the south central coast are famous for their complex musical arrangements and dance. Mozambique’s tradition of visual art has produced several modern artists who have achieved international renown. One of the most famous Mozambican artists is Malangatana, whose paintings portray the sufferings of the colonial time and the civil war.

Mozambique enjoys a great range of cultural and linguistic variety. Islamic culture, Swahili language, and matrilineal Bantu-speaking groups coexist in northern and central regions, reflecting prevailing patterns in neighbouring Tanzania and Malawi. The great mixture of people of the Zambezi valley overlap culturally and linguistically with neighbouring Malawi, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, and patrilineal, cattle-keeping people who share a heritage with neighbouring Nguni-speaking groups in South Africa and Zimbabwe are common in the south. Amid the mixture of languages, social relationships, artistic traditions, clothing, and ornamentation patterns is a common theme of dynamic and creative cultural expression in song, oral poetry, dance, and performance.

Although material and performance arts are deeply embedded in daily religious and social expressions, some regional traditions are well known throughout the nation and beyond. The haunting paintings of Malangatana Valente Ngwenya, commonly known as Malangatana, have captured an international audience. Malangatana and the muralist Mankew Valente Muhumana have inspired the formation of artist cooperatives, particularly around Maputo. The carved wooden sculpture and masks of the Makonde people of northern Mozambique and Tanzania and the complex Chopi orchestral performances, or midogo, are among the best-known artistic traditions. Popular music includes the work of Alexandre Langa, Xidimingwana, and the Nampula group Eyuphuro.Soccer is the nation's favourite sporting activity. Mozambique's soccer team competes with other African nations and within the Portuguese-speaking Sporting League, which also includes Angola,Portugal, and Brazil.

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