Prazos of Zambezi, with Luabo, Zambézia, Sofala, Manica, Mozambique


In the first quarter of the 20th century, several constructions attested to the permanence of the former agro-rural houses of the prazos (whose oldest model or type can be seen in the engraving in the magazine O Occidente, depicted in the Prazo Marral as a mansion with two floors and a wide roof, in the shape of a square-plan, along the architectural lines of the Portuguese rural manors of the 17th or 18th century), or its modernization with constructions with 19th century features: in this case, it corresponded to the single-storey houses with porch-like structures, with tiled roofs covering the verandas all around, and resting upon slender pillars. The most remarkable cases are the following. The house of the Prazo Carungo near Quelimane, which had been leased to Francisco Gavicho de Lacerda in 1906, being one of the three surviving prazos in 1921, not belonging to the modern companies. The Villa Germaine house, in Tangalane, existing in 1905, presenting features similar to those of Carungo, but with curved bays and lintels and a wider and more moulded roof, which must indicate a greater antiquity; it included the plantation of the Company of Madal (since 1903), and was set near the Beach of Zalala. The Vila Valdez, which is more interesting and different, northward of Quelimane, in Licungo, one of the former prazos leased by Pedro de Campos Valdez to the former prazeiros (Macuse and Licungo), and included in Boror Company (1898), of which he was one of the founders. This agro-rural ensemble emerged in the 1920s with a walled barrier in the late-romantic model of the time with battlements crowning the walls, an ogival arch and cylindrical lookouts, perhaps showing the modernized use of a former fortified aringa.

José Manuel Fernandes