- "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: war for independence
(Story began here. This is the second part.) Sometime in 1966, in Niassa, a Frelimo attack nearly wiped out a company of Portuguese troops. At least that’s what Valente Matsinhe’s commanding officer told him. Of one hundred men based at … Continue reading
(This is Part I. Part II is here.) In Portuguese bookstores, history shelves sag with memoirs by Portuguese vets of the colonial wars in Africa. And in bookstores in Mozambique, the same space is reserved for memoirs by antigos combatentes, … Continue reading
In August 1961, a Portuguese agronomist named Raul Wahnon Correia Pinto made a work trip to Israel. “Visiting Israel gave us the sensation of enjoying the unique privilege of witnessing the creation of a world!” wrote Pinto in a report … 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
The military junta that ruled Greece beginning in 1967 banned the Beatles, miniskirts, and the letter Z. (At least according to this movie.) Z was shorthand for the word zei—“he lives”— a pithy slogan of resistance that recalled the memory … Continue reading
In 2009, I attended a conference in Maputo marking the fortieth anniversary of the death of Eduardo Mondlane, the founding president of Frelimo, Mozambique’s independence movement. I greeted Janet Mondlane, his widow, an American who grew up in Illinois. Eduardo … Continue reading
Here’s some pretty striking 60s-era propaganda I recently came across in the archives: Translation: “Mozambique is only Mozambique because it’s Portugal.” Confused?
The movies were a big deal in Lourenço Marques in the 60s and 70s. By independence in 1975, there were more than a dozen cinemas in town or in the suburbs. The Gil Vicente, the Scala, the 222 and its … Continue reading
(Story began here and there are great photos here.) One evening, in 1969, Dinis was at Café Suiça with his friends, and the group somehow started chatting with the two men who were sitting at an adjacent table. In the … Continue reading