segunda-feira, 27 de julho de 2015

Wildlife, hunting and colonialism in central Mozambique in the early 20th century

by Bárbara Direito

Since the late 19th century, African wildlife became the object of protectionist measures in different colonial territories in Africa and also of intercolonial conventions, in 1900 and 1933. As a growing body of academic literature has shown, measures included in both local regulations and multilateral conventions, namely closed seasons, the strict protection granted to young elephants and the creation of nature reserves, originally stemmed from economic interests rather than from conservationism per se, and reflect class and race-based divisions present in colonial societies. Drawing mostly on primary and secondary sources, including on selected photographs, this paper proposes a reflection on the evolution and consequences of policies dealing with hunting and wildlife protection in Manica and Sofala, a region in central Mozambique which was ruled by a chartered company, the Mozambique Company, between 1891 and 1942. It specifically focuses on how hunting and protectionist regulations in Manica and Sofala in the late 19th and early 20th centuries reflected and helped reinforce representations about wildlife and game, as well as about the role and rights of both Africans and settlers regarding natural resources and livelihoods in an increasingly divided colonial society.


Bárbara Direito ( is an integrated researcher at the Instituto de História Contemporânea, FCSH-New University of Lisbon. In 2013, she completed her doctoral thesis on land and colonialism in central Mozambique at the University of Lisbon (“Políticas coloniais de terras em Moçambique: o caso de Manica e Sofala sob a Companhia de Moçambique, 1892-1942”). Since then she has been developing research on different aspects of colonial rural policies but also of health policies in 20th century Mozambique.

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