- "The Tio never developed a monumental architecture, not because they were not able to, but because they were not interested." –Jan Vansina
Generous support for the research that allowed me to write Hotel Universo has come from the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian and a Fulbright Program grant sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Dept. of State and administered by the Institute of International Education. But, of course, all content on this website is produced by me and is my sole responsibility, and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of any sponsoring institutions.
Currently on hiatus, but you can email me, David Morton, at hoteluniversoblog at gmail.com.
Tag Archives: houses
The pace of my research accelerated in May and, not coincidentally, you haven’t heard from me since then. Mostly I’ve been in Chamanculo; for several weeks I was living with Castigo Guambe’s family at the house I wrote about in … Continue reading
In the squatter settlements of many South American cities, building a house with a flat roof is a mark of distinction. It indicates that someday, somehow, you plan on building a second floor. The steel reinforcing bars sprouting from the … Continue reading
Ana Laura Frederico da Almeida Cumba, also known as Chinoca, lives in what was once her father’s house. In the 1960s, when she was a little girl, it may have been the biggest house in the neighborhood, and it was … Continue reading
A couple of months ago, at an embassy function here in Maputo, I ran into someone who I was friends with in elementary school, in Maryland, and who I hadn’t seen in more than 20 years. Since then I’ve repeated … Continue reading
When most people go to the Island of Mozambique (the former colonial capital and slave-trading port from which the country derives its name) it’s to walk among centuries-old coral-and-lime fortresses, chapels, and mansions, and to breathe in the exquisite decay. … Continue reading
In my last post, I mentioned the wood-frame, zinc-paneled homes that one finds scattered throughout Xipamanine, relics of a time when such a home was for African families the upper limit of luxury. You can find dozens of wood-and-zinc houses … Continue reading
A standard interview begins with the boring question: When were you born? Usually I get the simple answer, and we move on to more interesting things. Ana Magaia, the actress, answered the question with the date (December 27), the year … Continue reading
A recent visit to Padre Humberto, the Dutch priest at São Joaquim de Munhuana, turned up a trove of photos of the parish’s past. I’ve written before about Munhuana and the Bairro indígena, a colonial-era housing complex built in the … Continue reading
(Story began here.) I was in Tete city, the provincial capital. I had just been in a remote village for a week and a half, where I’d come across the ruins of a general store. Decades ago, before two wars … Continue reading