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Integrated | PhD Student
Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas | Universidade Nova de Lisboa
Av. de Berna, n.º 26 C
1069-061 Lisboa
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Tel: (+351) 21 790 83 00 (ext. 1583)



Born in May 25th in Beira (Mozambique), is Bachelor in Social Sciences at the University of São Paulo (Brazil, 2004) and has a Master Degree in African e Ethnic Studies at the State University of Bahia (Brazil, 2010). Since 2007, actuates as researcher in the field of Ethnomusicology at the ARPAC – Institute for Social and Cultural Research, an organization of Mozambique´s Ministry of Culture and Tourism. In parallel to a large experience of fieldwork, has developed various activities within the framework of the Convention for the Safeguard of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (Unesco, 2003) inside the country and abroad, in Angola, Brazil, Zimbabwe and Algeria.
Currently, is PhD Candidate in Musical Sciences (Ethnomusicology) at the New Uniersity of Lisbon (Portugal). Following up the areas of academic and professional performance, since 2018, became Liaison Officer for ICTM – International Council for Traditional Music – in Mozambique.
Ciência Vitae  |  ORCID  |  CV
Doctoral Project
Xigubo: Nation building and the social dimension of dance in Southern Mozambique
Xigubo is a cultural expression that is part of the so-called "warrior dances" characteristic of southern Mozambique, practiced by the various peoples of the region (including neighboring countries such as South Africa and the kingdom of Eswatini). These are dances in which military combat and the warrior spirit of the ancestors are dramatized through choreography, clothing and associated props, intense rhythm and warlike chants. This research looks at its role in the socialization process of individuals in this region of the country, especially from the point of view of the discursive narrative evident in the nation-building process that began after independence in June 1975. This process includes the place given to this practice in the political mobilization effort unleashed since then within the scope of Mozambican cultural policies, taking into account the different ways in which society itself has reacted to them.
In general terms, this study argues that if, on the one hand, xigubo benefited from particular visibility and conditions for dissemination due to its inclusion in the nationalist ideological discourse, on the other hand, individuals appropriated this cultural practice, re-signifying it in various ways. Whether through the transformation, expansion or even subversion of its discursive content, the contemporary configuration of xigubo reflects the emergence of processes of social change experienced by Mozambican society. In this sense, I believe that the study of the creative processes - aesthetic, discursive and ideological - underlying this configuration reveals the creative agency of individuals in the face of socialization processes guided by pre-defined and totalizing institutional agendas, as is the case with national identity-building projects. 
An approach to xigubo based on ethnography of its practice in different contexts, musical description (through practice and choreography), analysis of historical and institutional documentation, as well as interviews with the main players involved in this cultural expression, can shed light on its various meanings as an artistic form, as well as making a contribution to the field of national cultural policies. With regard to the latter, the potential contribution to sustaining its candidacy for "World Heritage", as stated in Mozambique's government plans in the area of Culture, stands out.
Keywords: Xigubo; Mozambique; nation building; cultural heritage.
Funding: Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (PD/BD/150596/2020)